Yemeni officials claim to have killed at least 68 al-Qaeda members and arrested 30 others over the past two weeks, but dozens of civilians have been hurt or killed in the crossfire.
In recent months al-Qaeda has carried out frequent attacks in Yemen and has been accused of planning more.
Last week, however, a government airstrike claimed at least 30 suspected militants, including two senior figures, according to military spokesmen.
The strike, which was allegedly aided by the US government, was described by a local bureaucrat as riddled with grave mistakes which in his opinion led to "a large number of civillian deaths".
Inside Story asks if this is another US war by proxy? Is Yemen in danger of becoming a failed state with the government fighting on three fronts at the same time? Or is the government using the 'war on terror' to crush all opposition and rebel movements in the country?
Inside Story presenter Hoda Abdelhamid is joined by Laura Kasinof, a journalist focused on Yemeni affairs, Abdullah Al-Faquih, a Yemeni political analyst, and Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, December 27.
Source: Al Jazeera