Yemen: US Invasion Could Strengthen al-Qaeda
In the past few weeks, the US has assisted Yemen in launching a number of attacks inisde Yemen on the ground in its efforts to quell civil war and battle Al Qaeda terrorists operating inside Yemen. Today, however, Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister Rashed al-Aleemi warned the US against launching a ground invasion into Yemen.
The Pentagon has previously confirmed that the US already has a small military force on the ground, bu has declined to confirm exactly what that force is doing beyond ongoing training missions.
“Any intervention or direct action by the United States could strengthen the al-Qaeda network and not weaken it,” Aleemi noted. At the same time he said Yemen needs help in the form of weapons and training to combat the growing al-Qaeda presence there
Yemen has committed troups to engage Al Qaeda, but Yemen is also embroiled in three civil wars across the country. Naturally the US takes the view that perhaps Yemen's forces are stretched, but Yemen's warning regarding Al Qaeda needs to be seriously considered.
Yemen further declared that there are limits to its military cooperation with the United States, warning that any direct U.S. action in this impoverished Middle Eastern nation could bolster the popularity of Islamist militants
.In very clear and unambiguous language Rashad al-Alimi, Yemen's deputy prime minister for security and defense stated:
Yemen says there are limits to its military cooperation with United States
"If there is direct intervention by the United States, it will strengthen al-Qaeda," "We cannot accept any foreign troops on Yemeni territory."
The statement underscored the rising concern among Yemen's leadership about a domestic backlash that could politically weaken the government and foment more instability. In recent days, top Yemeni officials have publicly played down their growing ties to Washington, fearing that they will be perceived by their opponents as weak and beholden to the United States.
U.S. investigators believe the Christmas Day plot originated in Yemen and that Abdulmutallab received chemical explosives and training during his stay inYemen. This is a point of contention with Alimi and the Yemeni government.
At his press conference, Alimi asserted that Abdulmutallab had received the chemical explosives for the failed attack in Nigeria. "That question should be directed at the Nigerian authorities and the Dutch government. It's not related to the Yemeni security apparatus."