Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saudia Arabia helps US step up Yemen raids

Yemeni anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, on June 8, 2011.

Source: Press TV

US media says the Pentagon has intensified its secret campaign of air strikes in crisis-hit Yemen with the help of Saudi Arabia which provides Washington with intelligence.

According to the New York Times, US and Saudi spy services have been receiving information by means of electronic eavesdropping about possible locations of militants who -- Washington says -- are “linked to al-Qaeda.”

American officials said that a US strike on Friday killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel al-Qaeda operative. The attack followed an attempted strike on May 5 against Anwar al-Awlaki, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

On Wednesday, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said the conflict in troubled Yemen has made al-Qaeda more “dangerous.”

Yemeni troops have been fighting against the militants in the south. However, as the Middle Eastern country has been the scene of clashes between revolutionaries and forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the troops have reportedly been pulled back to the capital Sana'a.

Saleh left the country for Saudi Arabia on June 4 along with several other top Yemeni officials allegedly for treatment of wounds they suffered in a rocket attack on the presidential palace a day earlier.

Protesters in major Yemeni cities have turned out for nearly daily demonstrations since late January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment.

They have also been demanding that Abdullah Saleh, who is backed by the US and Saudi governments, put an end to his rule in the country.

Hundreds of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters by forces loyal to Saleh since the outbreak of the Yemeni revolution.

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