News / Middle East

Pentagon Denies Report of Plan for US Military Teams in Yemen

Al Pessin

A Pentagon spokesman on Monday denied a report in The Wall Street Journal  newspaper that says the Obama administration is working on a plan to send U.S. military teams to Yemen to attack terrorist targets.  

The newspaper report says the apparent attempt to bring down planes with mail bombs last week has added urgency to a review that could lead to expanded U.S. military operations in Yemen.  The report says there is "growing support" in the military and among civilian officials to allow Special Operations teams to work secretly in Yemen, under CIA command.

But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman reacted to the story this way:

"There is nobody in a leadership position in the Defense Department who has given any serious consideration to the proposal outlined in that article," said Whitman.

Whitman said no major change to U.S. aid to Yemen is being considered.  He added that the security incidents provide a reason to review global counter-terrorism measures.

"This, you know, obviously gives everyone, first and foremost the government of Yemen as well as the United States and all those countries that were affected by this event - where planes flew to and things like that - an opportunity to reassess and evaluate whether or not there are other things that need to be done, can be done," he said.

Whitman said the Yemeni government "should be commended" for its counter-terrorism efforts, particularly in recent months.  He said the United States is working with the government in Yemen to address security and counterterrorism concerns as well as the country's "political, economic and social challenges."  

According to Pentagon figures, U.S. aid to Yemen has increased sharply in recent years.  But former top U.S. Homeland Security and intelligence official Charles Allen says that in Yemen, results will be slow in coming.

"We've known about this, we've worked this [terrorism in Yemen]," said Allen. "We've given aid and assistance in counterterrorism training to the government of Yemen and to its security forces and helped them develop special forces capabilities.  It's just going to be a long, hard push, though, to get the kind of results out of Yemen that we really need in order to make not only the Middle East, but also the rest of the Western world more secure."

Authorities in Yemen are searching for the suspected bomb-maker - Ibrahim Hasan al-Asiri - who U.S. officials say is a member of al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen.  

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More