As Saudi Arabian air strikes have hammered Yemen over the past month, Riyadh’s Western allies are believed to have grown increasingly worried by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) taking advantage of the chaos to capture more ground.

Although Riyadh has announced the end of its main air campaign, strikes against the Houthi militia persist, as does the fighting in central and southern areas of Yemen that has distracted its fragmented army, allowing AQAP to benefit.

The Saudis are aware that their bombing campaign has presented opportunities to AQAP, but they see that as a temporary side effect of a strategy ultimately aimed at quashing the militant group by restoring strong government in Sanaa. […]