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The Middle East, explained

Massive death toll in Al Qaeda in Yemen attack begs question: what the hell is happening over there?

At least 185 Yemeni government troops were killed by Al Qaeda forces yesterday.

That's an excellent question, and not sure one I can answer without calling on some Yemen tweeps to help navigate the chaos. 

In addition to its myriad political problems (the new president just "won" 99.8 percent in February elections), separatist insurgents, US drones and the like, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed 185 Yemeni soldiers in a remote province the country's restive south yesterday. 

One hundred and eighty five soldiers. 

Some of whom were beheaded and their corpses mutilated, the Associated Press is reporting

Read more from GlobalPost: Southern Yemen steeped in conflict

That is a massive number but Yemen, unless it's the origin of a failed attack on the US, normally doesn't command too much media attention. 

Here are a few foreign journalists and analysts either based in or with exceptional knowledge of Yemen that you should be following on Twitter for daily coverage of the often overlooked but fascinating and complex Arab country, including our own Jeb Boone

  • Jeb Boone – freelance journalist and analyst focusing on Yemen, gaming, and tech. Blogger for GlobalPost's The Grid. Former managing editor of the Yemen Times.
  • Tom Finn – freelance journalist based in Yemen.
  • Laura Kasinof – freelance journalist. New York Times stringer.
  • Iona Craig – freelance journalist and The Times of London Yemen correspondent since 2010.
  • Jeremy Scahill – national security correspondent for The Nation, author of Blackwater. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Drone Wars: Attacks fuel anger in Yemen

And for a bit of much-needed satire, the spoof account of Yemen's new president, Abd Rabo Hadi.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-middle-east/yemen-al-qaeda-soldiers-killed