[A-List] U.S. Military Involvement To Worsen Situation In Yemen
tal1 at cogeco.ca
Sun Aug 29 13:08:52 MDT 2010
Xinhua News Agency
August 29, 2010
U.S. military involvement may worsen situation in Yemen
SANAA: The U.S. military's high-profile involvement in Sanaa's operations
against al-Qaida in Yemen may further fuel anti-U.S. sentiment among local
population and make things worse for the Yemeni authorities, analysts say.
The U.S.'s open involvement is also causing embarrassment for Yemeni
authorities, who have insisted Yemeni military forces alone are responsible
for anti-terror operations in the country and that the U.S. military's job
is limited to intelligence and training.
U.S. officials have recently admitted that the U.S. has mounted raids on
al-Qaida's affiliates in Yemen and they have also indicated that the U.S.
anti-terror focus is shifting to Yemen.
According to a New York Times report on Aug. 14, the U.S. launched an air
raid on al-Qaida's branch in the northeastern province of Marib in May, in
its fourth onslaught on al-Qaida bases in the country since last December.
Washington had been tight-lipped about its "secret bombing raids" against
And according to a Washington Post article on Aug. 25, for the first time
since Sep. 11, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) called al-Qaida
in Yemen the top terror threat to U.S. security, as al-Qaida has been
decimated by predator strikes in Pakistan.
The Obama administration officials have called for an escalation of U.S.
operations, worried that Yemen may become the next training center for
al-Qaida. Drone strikes were suggested.
Asked to comment on these reports, a Yemeni Foreign Ministry spokesman told
Xinhua by telephone that the reports about the U.S. military's involvement
in anti-terror operations in Yemen have left the Yemeni government in an
awkward dilemma, and the United States should be responsible for these
During a visit to Sanaa earlier this year, Senator Joseph Lieberman,
chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said:
"Iraq was yesterday's war. Afghanistan is today's war. If we don't act
preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow's war."
Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy operations chief of al-Qaida, said last month the
U.S. military forces had already been involved in operations in Yemen and he
urged religious leaders to mount a jihad, or holy war against the U.S.
He mentioned U.S. missile attacks in southern Yemen in the Gulf of Aden last
December, in which 43 al-Qaida members and 42 civilians were killed.
In January, over 100 religious leaders gathered in Sanaa, declaring that
they would start a jihad if there was a foreign military invasion.
On May 24, Yemeni tribes condemned the U.S. for its air raid on Marib, as
well as bombings of oil pipelines between May 25 and June 12.
A former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden predicted on Friday that a war between
the Yemeni government and al-Qaida troops may break out and the U.S. would
intervene militarily when it is deemed necessary.
Al-Qaida's rise in the south of Yemen has aroused deep concerns in the U.S.
However, Washington's high-profile military involvement would only backfire,
as it is likely to have a negative impact on the political situation in the
country and further stoke up anti-U.S. sentiment, with more extremists
swarming to Yemen to join a jihad against the U.S., analysts say.
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