Wikileaks Confirms U.S. Directly Provided Training & Weapons in Yemen

(GPA) The Yemen Files – Wikileaks has released over 500 documents concerning the United States’ involvement in Yemen’s civil war including over 200 PDF files and 300 emails from State Department officials dating back to 2009 with training plans and weapons shipments intensifying in 2013 leading up to the current conflict.

This new release proves that the United States didn’t take an indirect approach to the conflict in Yemen by simply selling arms to Saudi Arabia and turning a blind eye, but rather used Saudi Arabia as a third party arms dealer to peddle arms into Yemen; and much more. A document from February 2013 depicts the Yemeni government essentially asking the United States for a detailed receipt:

“We have been told casually that they were all gifts at one point from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but we need details of the transfer identifying end-item manufacturer’s numbers and serial identification, the date of transfer, what country they were transferred from, the conditions of the transfer or any other supporting information such as third-party-transfer documents. A list of the end-items we need information on is below: 

1. C-130 Aircraft
2. F-5 Aircraft
3. Bell 206 Helicopter
4. Bell 212 Helicopter
5. Bell 214 Helicopter
6. 105mm Howitzer Artillery
7. 155mm Howitzer Artillery”
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Flickr: Rob
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Flickr: Rob

But aircraft and weapons destined for pro-Hadi forces aren’t just flowing in from the royal Wahhabi kingdom. A document from May 2012 titled “Yemen Scope of Work” explains how a plan was “in the works” to ship “excess defense articles” by air from Afghanistan to Yemen.

Other documents from 2012 further reveal that the United States was planning on conducting pilot training for “students” from Yemen in Spain. The training was expected to last 24 months. It appears as though this training was ultimately cancelled but readdressed and rescheduled in 2013. Topics included military finance training, military education training, and mobile training teams inside Yemen for the Yemen Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Special Forces and so on. In fact, it appears as though the United States has been sponsoring military training for the Yemeni government each year since 2013. In 2013, State Department officials invited five representatives from the Yemeni government to a “public affairs” conference in Tampa, Florida– all expenses paid courtesy of U.S. CENTCOM of course.

Financial documents cover training expense breakdowns, small cash transfers, and a blacklist of construction companies, businesses and individuals accused of “contacting with the enemy.” The blacklist was then likely used for the purposes of sanctions or an asset freeze in order to economically devastate anti-government forces while also physically devastating them on the ground.

These documents prove that the United States was directly corresponding with the Yemeni government in the years leading up to the devastating civil war that erupted in 2015– as opposed to simply exerting pressure via Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies.

Yemen has been torn by a civil war for almost two years. A coalition of Houthi forces and portions of the Yemeni military including the Republican Guard are loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. This coalition successfully overthrew president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in 2015 who now lives in hiding in Saudi Arabia. Pro-Saleh forces currently control the capital city of Sana’a and most of what used to be North Yemen. The Houthi coalition and many Yemeni civilians consider President Hadi to be a puppet government for Saudi Arabia. The United States has continuously accused Iran of arming pro-Saleh Houthi forces.

You can read more about the current conflict in Yemen here.

This is a breaking story, we’ll keep you updated as we sort through more documents and emails.

Randi Nord

Randi is a journalist in the United States and the co-founder of Geopolitics Alert. She covers U.S. imperialism in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen.