Sana’a (GPA) – The current leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Qasim al-Rimi, announced this week that the Sunni terrorist organization frequently fights right alongside US and Saudi-backed forces.
Here at Geopolitics Alert, we’ve always stressed the fact that al-Qaeda is a de facto US-ally in Yemen and AQAP leader Qasim al-Rimi seems to agree with us. Al-Rimi escaped a Yemeni prison in 2006 and became leader of the terror group after the previous emir– Nasir al-Wuhayshi– died in a US airstrike in 2015.
Al-Rimi made the announcement on Sunday through an interview released by al-Qaeda’s media outlet al-Malahim:
“…we fight along all Muslims in Yemen, together with different Islamic groups. We fought with the salafs without exception. We fought with the Muslim Brotherhood and also our brothers from the sons of tribes. We fought together with the public in Aden and elsewhere. We participate with the Muslims in every battle.”
The “different Islamic groups” and “sons of tribes” refer to various groups backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia in order to fight Ansarullah aka the Houthis. The Muslim Brotherhood and other salafi groups also receive support from Saudi Arabia and ultimately the United States. Forces loyal to Saudi Arabia have set up an impromptu capital in the city of Aden.
Like anywhere else in the Middle East, the United States and their allies have a preference for arming reactionary takfiri groups who frequently make bedfellows out of even more extreme groups like al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and ISIS.
Despite admitting to fighting alongside US-backed forces in Yemen, al-Rimi went on accuse Ansarullah of cooperating with US forces. And his justification? Participating in US-brokered (failed) peace talks which took place last year in Oman.
Although al-Rimi admits al-Qaeda is a US ally in Yemen, the interview had to be conducted from an undisclosed location because the United States has a 5 million dollar bounty on al-Rimi’s head.
On paper, the United States is militarily engaged in Yemen in order to fight al-Qaeda. Which they claim is a matter of US security. But the US is also an official supporter of Saudi Arabia’s disastrous operation in Yemen. Whose ultimate goal is to prop-up Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as president in Yemen.
The Saudi-backed operation in Yemen has killed tens of thousands. Millions are at risk of famine. The humanitarian situation in Yemen deteriorates each day as the global war against the people of Yemen continues.
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi is an American geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen and Lebanon.