Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Washington has involved in secret joint operations in Yemen after President Barack Obama approved US military and intelligence teams to be dispatched to the country, the Washington Post revealed Wednesday.
The operations begun six weeks ago, involving troops from the US military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), whose main mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists, the Post reported.
The American agents are helping the Yemeni army develop tactics and providing Sana’a forces with electronic and video surveillance, as well as three-dimensional terrain maps, the report said.
In addition to “highly sensitive intelligence,” the US is sending weapons and munitions to be used against what the White House describes as an al-Qaeda cell operating in the Arabian Peninsula, it added.
In late December, President Obama even approved a strike against a compound in southern Yemen where US citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi was allegedly meeting with regional “al-Qaeda leaders,” the report added.
“We are very pleased with the direction this is going,” the Washington Post quoted an unnamed senior administration official as saying of the cooperation with Yemen.
Washington has also been sending a steady stream of high-ranking officials to visit Sana’a, including the rarely seen JSOC commander Vice Adm. William McRaven, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, and head of US Central Command Gen. David Petraeus.
Earlier in January, the White House pledged $121 million in aid to help the unpopular Yemeni government crush uprisings.
However, amid rising concerns over the US role in military operations in Yemen, the government continues to its offensive against the country’s Shia minorities in the north.
Backed by the Saudi military, the operation has left hundreds killed and tens of thousands displaced in the battle zone, prompting repeated warnings of a humanitarian disaster in the making from international organizations.
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This article was posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 5:23 am