Salon American website reported Today that The U.S. is intervening in yet another Middle Eastern country, Yemen, where extremist groups benefited from its policies.
“The Obama administration has quietly deployed troops to help fight in Yemen over the past two weeks, with little public attention.” Ben Norton , a politics staff writer at Salon, said.
Yemen now joins a series of other Middle Eastern countries in which U.S. troops are on the ground without declaration of war and approval from Congress, combating extremist groups that have benefited from U.S. policies, according to Salon report.
Norton reported “the military did not reveal until Friday, May 6, that it had sent troops to Yemen. The Pentagon refused to say what kind of forces it deployed or how many U.S. troops there are, only describing it as a very small number.” He added “The Pentagon says it is intervening to support its ally the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, in its fight against what is widely recognized to be al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate.”
Salon also reported that yet the destructive Saudi-led war the U.S. has backed for more than a year is the reason al-Qaeda and other extremist groups have grown so quickly in the country.
As Salon has frequently reported over the past year, U.S. military officials as prominent as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter were warning as early as April 2015, less than one month into the war, that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, had “seized the opportunity of the disorder there and the collapse of the central government.”
Reuters also published a report in April detailing how the U.S.-backed Saudi-led “war in Yemen has made al-Qaeda stronger — and richer.”
a prominent journalist warned in a recent column that AQAP was the ultimate winner of the disastrous U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, describing it as “Iraq all over again.”
The report pointed out that al-Qaeda has created what is effectively a mini-state on the south coast of Yemen, where it controls a 340-mile area in which it reigns over the local population and collects taxes.
Norton said “AQAP is one of the most extreme branches of al-Qaeda. It took responsibility for the January 2015 attack on the Paris office of the magazine Charlie Hebdo.” He added “ISIS has also capitalized on the chaos of the war and carved out its own territory in Yemen.”
According to Salon, a Pentagon spokesperson told a news briefing on Friday that the U.S. forces in Yemen are filling a variety of roles, providing aerial refueling, security, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, planning, medical support and more.
Reuters reported that pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said “AQAP remains a significant security threat to the United States and to our regional partners and we welcome this effort to specifically remove AQAP from Mukalla and to degrade, disrupt and destroy AQAP in Yemen.”
Norton reported that since April, Yemeni and Emirati troops have been fighting AQAP in the southern port city Mukalla. “The U.S. military has also deployed an assault ship and two destroyer ships off the coast of Yemen to provide support,” He said.
Human rights organizations have accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes, and the U.N. says it is responsible for two-thirds of civilian casualties in Yemen.
The U.S.-backed coalition has bombed hospitals, weddings, residential neighborhoods, schools, an Oxfam humanitarian aid warehouse, a refugee camp and more.
In Salon report, it was also confirmed that Saudi forces have dropped widely banned U.S.-made cluster munitions on civilian areas in Yemen, and More than 6,000 Yemenis have been killed, roughly half of whom were civilians, including nearly 1,000 children, in a very conservative estimate from the United Nations.
A U.N. report found that an average of six Yemeni children have been killed or injured every single day, for more than year.
The war has completely ravaged impoverished Yemen, pushing millions to the brink of famine. At least 14 million Yemenis, more than half of the population, face hunger, according to the U.N.
The report added that for more than nine months, humanitarian organizations have warned that more than 21 million Yemenis, 82 percent of the population — almost half of whom are children — need urgent humanitarian assistance.
Another at least 2.4 million people, 10 percent of the population, have been displaced
According to the report, the U.S. and U.K. have done many billions of dollars of arms deals with the Saudi monarchy billions in recent years, selling many of the weapons that have been dropped on Yemeni civilians.
American and British military forces are providing intelligence and support to the Saudi-led coalition, and are physically in the command room with Saudi bombers, with access to a list of targets.
In early 2015, with war breaking out, the U.S. withdrew its military forces from Yemen, which had been deployed there to help fight what was then a much weaker AQAP.
Norten reported “The Pentagon also revealed on Friday that it had carried out at least four more bombings in Yemen since April 23, which it says were targeting AQAP.”he added “For years, the U.S. has waged a secretive drone war in Yemen. Many scholars, journalists and even former military officials have warned that the little-acknowledged civilian casualties of the U.S. drone war has only fueled extremism in the region, not weakened it.”
The report also indicated that U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki were killed in CIA drone strikes in Yemen in 2011, extrajudicially assassinated without a trial.