In the ongoing campaign against terrorism the news from Yemen on May 25, sounded pretty routine, an air strike on a group of Al-Qaeda operatives in a remote desert of Marib province, which was the legendary Queen of Sheba’s birthplace.
Unfortunately the air strike not only killed Al-Qaeda operatives but the province’s deputy governor a well respected local official. Yemeni officials report the deputy governor had been trying to talk Al-Qaeda members into giving up the fight. Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh accepted responsibility on behalf of the U.S. by paying blood money to local tribesmen offended by the local officials death.
This air strike was not from the Yemen government, but from the United States military, the fourth such attack since December in the mountains and deserts of Yemen.
This is the Obama administrations shadow war against Al-Qaeda, not only in Yemen but at least a dozen countries in 2 continents. The attacks cover areas from the former Soviet republics now engaged in ethnic strife to the mountains of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and North Africa.
The evidence is clear that the United States has drastically increased military and intelligence operations by using unmanned drones, commandos, and contractors in pursuit of the enemy. The White House has intensified it’s support of CIA secret drone attack operations in Kenya and Pakistan as well as raids against Al-Qaeda operatives in Somalia.
The Obama administration has been working with European allies to dismantle and destroy enemy hideouts in North Africa, which also included a recent strike by the French in Algeria. Contractors have been used as well for intelligence to locate militant hideaways.
The increased military operations have gone mostly unnoticed since the Obama administration has not formally acknowledged the new aggressive steps being taken, and point to the benefits of keeping the fight against Al-Qaeda in the shadows, away from the wavering public opinion pollsters and politicians.
New York Times