Aden (GPA) – More U.S. troops entered Yemen this week escalating ground operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). And according to the Pentagon, additional troops are likely to follow.
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis has not ruled out sending additional troops to Yemen shortly, possibly even in a matter of weeks.
U.S. and U.A.E. Troops Push AQAP Out of Oil and Gas Fields
Emirate officials greeted U.S. forces at an airport in Hadramaut province on Friday as they entered Yemen. Mainstream media is wishy-washy describing the role that the troops will play which indicates that their activity is likely much more involved than officials would like to admit. BBC even whitewashed over the presence, using the term “US-backed troops” instead. Yemeni media, on the other hand, has been crystal clear in their reporting, insisting that the fields are directly under control of U.A.E. and U.S. troops.
According to Yemen’s Saba News Agency, U.S. and Emirate forces swiftly expelled AQAP from oil and gas fields in Shabwah province. This operation led many Yemeni’s to worry about the U.S. and their allies’ intentions and possible looting of Yemen’s resources; especially so considering that the United Arab Emirates relies heavily on Qatar for gas.
Yemen was the “War on Terror” Test Kitchen
The U.S. is already conducting air strikes targeting in AQAP-controlled areas of Shabwah and Hadramout. Yemen has long been a testing ground for the U.S.-led “War on Terror.” President George Bush used Yemen to test various rehabilitation techniques on inmates at Yemeni prisons. We now know that extreme torture was also taking place at 18 U.S.-supported prisons in Yemen. President Obama turned to Yemen as a real-life test field for his drone operations.
For decades, Yemen has been a thoroughfare for takfiri militants looking to carry out their intolerant version of jihad throughout the region.
Unfortunately, since the Saudi-backed forces in Yemen frequently fight along side AQAP against Yemen’s resistance, it’s hard to understand how pushing the militants out of a few oil fields will solve anything in the long-run.
U.S. and Saudi Forces Won’t See Success Against AQAP– But Yemen’s Resistance Will
Yemen’s resistance, including Ansarullah and the Republican Guard, are the only forces genuinely fighting AQAP both militarily and ideologically. Their concept of pluralism and inclusion stands in direct contrast to AQAP and many Saudi-backed forces. Areas controlled by Yemen’s resistance rarely have problems with terror attacks from AQAP or ISIS because security forces routinely monitor checkpoints. Many residents have actually fled southern portions of Yemen for this reason: the resistance forces provide a level of security that doesn’t exist in the Saudi or U.A.E.-controlled territory.
As of now, the Pentagon states that their objective in Yemen is to fight AQAP– not Ansarullah (aka “the Houthis”). And the public should feel compelled to believe them at this point. The U.S. has not expressed any interest in sending troops to help Saudi forces fight Yemen’s resistance. In fact, they’ve adamantly stated that this is the Saudi’s war, not the United States’. No, the U.S. is more concerned with money.
The Saudi war against Yemen is profitable because the Saudis and all of their allies buy weapons from the United States. Defense officials must know that waging war– themselves– against Yemen’s resistance would just create a money pit. And it’s a war they certainly won’t win easily.
Also published on Medium.