CIA present in Yemen since 2008: Report

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28 Dec 2009

The US has opened a covert front against ‘al-Qaeda’ in Yemen by offering support to the country’s military operations, a US intelligence sources says.

Citing an unnamed former CIA official, The New York Times reported late on Sunday that about a year ago the CIA sent many field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country.

The report revealed that some of the most secretive special operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces.

The paper noted that the Pentagon will be spending more than USD 70 million over the next 18 months to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and coast guard forces.

Yemen’s national security chief had earlier declared that the country was receiving assistance from the US in the crackdown on what he called “al-Qaeda operatives” in southern Yemen.

Mohamed al-Anisi had told the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz that the Yemeni forces were cooperating with the US military on attacks against al-Qaeda camps.

The developments come as international aid agencies and some UN bodies including the United Nations Children’s Fund and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have voiced concern over the dire condition of the Yemeni civilians, who have become the main victims of the conflict in the country.

The United Nations, which according to its charter is set up “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace,” has failed to adopt any concrete measures to help end the bloody war.

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