Yemen Post Staff
The Pentagon is to approve within weeks sending more special forces to Yemen amid increasing U.S. aid to the country, particularly after the botched Christmas Day's attack on a U.S. jetliner, U.S. reports said on Thursday citing unnamed officials.
The move is part of a broad push to speed the training of Yemeni counterterror forces as well as helping U.S. trainers already in Yemen to strengthen their ties with Yemeni forces, the reports said.
The number of the troops to be sent was not identified and some of them will stay longer in the country, according to the reports.
The reports come hours after a London conference on Yemen in which participants urged more Yemen efforts to boost national economy and fight terrorism as they expressed commitment to continue supporting Yemen to face its challenges.
The Obama administration has decided to increase its military and developmental aid to Yemen from $ 90 million in the last year to $ 190 million this year.
Other U.S. reports have noted that the U.S. military's involvement in Yemen has already begun to grow.
'In the weeks since the Christmas Day attack, the U.S. has increased the number of surveillance drones flying over Yemen, as well as the number of unmanned aircraft outfitted with missiles capable of striking targets on the ground, according to a senior U.S. official with direct knowledge of the deployments,' Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
U.S. forces aren't involved in direct combat within Yemen, but special forces troops are helping Yemeni counterterror personnel plan attacks against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targets inside the country, according to military officials with knowledge of their activities, the journal added.
The Special Forces troops are also working as liaisons between the Yemeni military command and the Pentagon, which has begun relaying intelligence gleaned from drones, satellites and intercepts of militant phone calls and emails, it said.
Yemini Post Staff
US military involved in Yemen operations: report
(AFP) Jan 27, 2010
WASHINGTON US military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who have killed six of 15 leaders of an Al-Qaeda affiliate there, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
President Barack Obama approved the operations, which began six weeks ago and involve several dozen troops from the US Joint Special Operations Command, which is dedicated to hunting down Al-Qaeda leaders, the Post said, citing unnamed officials.
Although US troops do not take part in raids in Yemen, they plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons and ammunition, the Post said.
The United States also is sharing highly sensitive intelligence with Yemeni forces, including electronic and video intelligence, three dimensional terrain maps and analytical assessments of Al-Qaeda, it said.
The United States has previously acknowledged supporting the Yemenis with intelligence and training, but has provided no detail on its role in stepped up attacks on Al-Qaeda militants.
US focus on Yemen, however, has intensified since a thwarted attempt to bring down a US-bound airliner on Christmas Day, allegedly by a Nigerian trained in Yemen by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Post said the combined effort has resulted in more than two dozen ground raids and air attacks, including a December 24 attack approved by Obama against a compound where regional Al-Qaeda leaders were believed to be meeting.