Report: US forces aid Yemen in al-Qaeda strikes
US military teams and intelligence agencies have been helping Yemeni troops in military operations that have killed six of the 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The report said the United States had been "deeply involved" in Yemen for six weeks but was not actively taking part in the raids. Instead, it had helped plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons, the newspaper said, quoting senior administration officials, DPA reported.
The US advisers were also working as intermediaries between Yemeni forces and hundreds of intelligence officers in the US and the efforts had resulted in more than two dozen ground raids and airstrikes, the Post said.
The operations were approved by President Barack Obama and involve several dozen troops from the military's clandestine Joint Special Operations Command, whose main mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists, the paper said.
The US role could prove politically challenging for Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who might find himself under pressure from tribal, political and religious groups, the report said.
Nevertheless, US officials described the programme so far as highly successful.
"We are very pleased with the direction this is going," a senior administration official said of the cooperation with Yemen.