US backs Yemen’s raids on Qaeda: report

Report says US gave Yemen hardware, intelligence


The United States gave military hardware, intelligence and other support to Yemeni forces who raided suspected al-Qaeda hide-outs this week, U.S. media reported on Saturday.

Officials in Washington familiar with the operations said the U.S. help, approved by President Barack Obama, had been given at the request of the Yemeni government, The New York Times reported.

The support was intended to help Yemen prevent al Qaeda from mounting attacks on American and other foreign targets inside its borders, the Times reported.

"Yemen should be commended for actions against al-Qaeda," Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, told the newspaper.

Yemeni said on Thursday its security forces had foiled a planned series of suicide bombings by attacking targets including a Qaeda training centre in the southern province of Abyan and sites in Arhab district.

About 30 Qaeda militants were killed and 17 arrested in Abyan and in Arhab, northeast of the capital Sanaa, it said.

Several fighter planes took part in the raid and hit a civilian area by mistake, a local official in Abyan told AFP. Abyan is a part of the former South Yemen republic authorities say has become a regrouping base for Islamist militants.

Raids also took place in the capital Sanaa and the neighboring district of Arhab, to the northeast, a defense ministry official.

Some of the strikes against suspected Qaeda hideouts in Yemen this week were undertaken by local forces alone, U.S. officials told the Times.

Yemen should be commended for actions against al-Qaeda

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman

US missiles

ABC News reported on Friday that the reported attacks included U.S. missiles.

The television network said one of the targeted sites was a suspected training camp for Qaeda north of Sanaa while the second was at a site where "an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned," according to officials.

It identified raids carried out by Yemeni security forces at three separate location in addition to the two U.S. cruise missile attacks.

In a speech unveiling his revamped strategy for the war in Afghanistan earlier this month, Obama noted that "where Al-Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold—whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere—they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships."

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and has seen several attacks claimed by the group on foreign missions, tourist sites and oil installations.

The United States has pressured Sanaa to crack down on the group whose presence threatens to turn Yemen into a base for training and plotting attacks, a top U.S. counterterrorism official said in September.

where Al-Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold,whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere,they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships

U.S. President Barack Obama