U.S. Aided Yemeni Raids on Al Qaeda, Officials Say

By THOM SHANKER and MARK LANDLER
Published: December 18, 2009

WASHINGTON — The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support to the government of Yemen as it carried out raids this week to strike at suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda within its borders, according to officials familiar with the operations.
The officials said that the American support was approved by President Obama and came at the request of the Yemeni government.
The American contributions were intended to help Yemen to prevent Al Qaeda from mounting attacks against American and other foreign targets inside its borders. Officials declined to say whether those targets were embassies, businesses, schools or other sites.
Yemeni officials said their security forces had killed at least 34 militants in the broadest attack on the terrorist group in years. A range of Pentagon, military and intelligence officials declined to provide details of the reported attacks, which, according to ABC News, included American missiles. But officials in Washington offered words of support for the government of Yemen in tackling international terrorism. “Yemen should be commended for actions against Al Qaeda,” said Bryan G. Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. “Al Qaeda poses a serious threat to Yemeni, U.S. and regional interests.”
Reluctance among administration officials to comment on whether American forces had launched missiles into Yemen appeared to reflect a desire to make clear that the Yemeni government was in the lead in counterterrorism operations within its borders. There is a great reluctance among leaders of many Muslim nations to have any cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations made known. American officials said some of the strikes against suspected terrorist camps in Yemen earlier in the week were carried out solely by local forces.
American officials said this past summer that they were seeing the first evidence that dozens of fighters with Al Qaeda, and a small handful of the terrorist group’s leaders, were moving to Somalia and Yemen from Pakistan. In communications that were being monitored at the Pentagon, the White House and the C.I.A., the terrorist groups in all three locations had begun communicating more frequently, and apparently trying to coordinate their actions, the officials said.
Yemen has long been a haven for jihadists. Al Qaeda has mounted frequent attacks against foreign embassies and Yemeni officials. Last month, it claimed credit for an attack on a government convoy in Yemen’s remote eastern desert in which three top provincial officials and three of their guards were killed.

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One Response to “U.S. Aided Yemeni Raids on Al Qaeda, Officials Say”

  1. In the December 18th New York Times publication, an article Pakistan Ministers Are Called Before the Courts was written by Jane Perlez and Salman Masood. Though the article does state the annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance and the repercussions of the decision taken by the Pakistan Supreme Court, it has given an image portraying the Pakistan Army as an anti-democratic institution. Understandably the Pakistan Army is going through a turbulent phase. The army is currently engaged in a battle against militants who are adamant in bringing down the current democratic set up in Pakistan. However, one must not forget that many of these militants have grown up in the same neighborhood as the army soldiers, and regardless of allegiance, it is always difficult to take up arms against a childhood acquaintance.

    http://ahraza.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/the-pakistan-government/

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