U.S’s involvement in anti-terror operation in Yemen

Posted: April 22, 2014 in News

According to CNN

The United States offered extensive assistance beyond drone strikes during a massive anti-terror operation in Yemen, including flying Yemeni commandos to a site where they killed scores of suspected al Qaeda members, a U.S. official said.

U.S. personnel wore night-vision gear and flew Yemeni forces to a remote, mountainous spot in southern Yemen, according to the official. The Yemeni helicopters on-hand that the U.S. personnel flew were Russian-made, which helped to minimize the U.S. footprint during the operation.

Once there, Yemeni commandos engaged suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the U.S. official said, who added that no Americans took part in actual combat on the ground. And the official did not specify whether the American personnel involved were among the U.S. military’s special forces, worked for the CIA or were contractors.

The official said the United States aided Yemen’s government in other ways as well during the multiday operation, which resulted in the deaths of at least 65 suspected terrorists.

In a speech to the group, al-Wuhayshi makes it clear that he’s going after the United States, saying: “We must eliminate the cross. … The bearer of the cross is America!”

On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby declined to detail the U.S. government’s involvement in this and other aspects of the latest anti-terror operation, though he did highlight its partnership with Yemen.

“We continue to work with the Yemeni government and the Yemeni armed forces to help them improve their counterterrorism capabilities inside the country,” said Kirby. “That work continues, and it will continue.”

DNA tests are being conducted to determine if one of the most well-known members of that group — bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri — is among the dead, according to Yemeni officials.

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