Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Another raid in Yemen

Better planned this time by the Spec Ops folk who are looking forward to a longer stay in that poor, abused country. Unlike the previous raid, this one lost nobody and, until we learn otherwise, seems to have killed fewer collateral persons.
Members of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 killed seven militants in central Yemen during an early Tuesday raid on a compound associated with Al Qaeda, American military officials said.

It was the first ground raid in Yemen that the military has acknowledged since Navy SEALs carried out a similar attack in late January — the first such operation authorized by President Trump. One Navy SEAL team member died and three others were injured in that mission, and as many as 25 civilians were killed.

In a statement after the operation, the United States Central Command said the latest raid targeted a compound in the governorate of Marib that was linked to the Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

“During this operation, U.S. forces killed seven AQAP militants through a combination of small-arms fire and precision airstrikes,” the statement said, referring to strikes by drones, helicopters or attack planes.

Since the ill-fated raid on Jan. 29, American commandos, sometimes working in concert with special operations forces from the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies on the ground, have carried out several clandestine raids that the military calls “site exploitation” missions.

These missions are designed to provide the American military with more information about the Qaeda leadership and operations, as well as insights into other extremist groups in the country. The Central Command statement said the raid was conducted with the support of the beleaguered Yemeni government, which has been fighting a two-front war: one with Arab allies against Houthi rebels in the western part of the country, and another against Qaeda militants in the country’s central and eastern regions.
The information gathered by these raids will determine if and when we move into Yemen and establish long term bases for another Middle East eternal war.

Aside from Sic Semper Tyrannis and Tomdispatch, most blogs and all the MSM ignore the fact that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an ally of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the war against the Houthis. The Saudis are really, really averse to taking casualties on the ground, so any ground fighting is done by AQAP or the Southern Yemenis who were the Saudi's nominal allies. I'm not too clear about why the Saudis don't object when we go in and kill people who work for them, but maybe AQAP is divided and some members aren't cooperative with Saudi. The Saudis, of course, are still the main financial support of IS, since they are losing the population they were "taxing" and the oil they were selling to Turkey. They also continue to support Hayat Tahrir al Sham, which is the current name for Al Qaeda in Syria. They will not be pleased if Trump sends American troops in there to clean out that nest of vipers.

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