U.S. and U.K. enable Yemen to fight citizens
Recent evidence of U.S. Government involvement in the violence taking place in Yemen for the better part of the past decadehas recently come to light through a series of classified cables released by Wikileaks. On 17 December, 2009, a cable left the U.S. embassy in Yemen stating that counter terrorism (CT) units that were trained and funded by the U.S. and U.K. governments were being heavily relied upon by the ROYG (Republic of Yemen Government) to assist in its personal war against its own people. The 17DEC09 cable also made reference to an attack that occurred that same day claiming that the attack was “a welcome return to its core mission.” The primary unit to carry out the attack was a U.S./U.K. trained and funded CT unit supplied with USG equipment. According to various sources cited by U.S. officials approximately 60 people were killed during the attack, most of which were non-combatant civilians.
On 21 December, 2009, a US official informed Washington D.C. that a meeting had occurred with ROYG officials concerning the negative perceptions amongst the people of Yemen and the world of USG involvement in the CT mission that occurred on 17 December, resulting in a large number of civilian and non-combatant casualties. During this meeting the U.S. Ambassador was assured that the ROYG would continue to downplay American assistance and explain away any American munitions found at the site as having been purchased from the U.S. The implication being that U.S. air assets, perhaps even ground forces, were on site to assist in the attack.
On 4 January, 2010, General Petraeus and President of Yemen Saleh met to discuss further U.S. involvement in Yemen. During this meeting General Petraeus promised President Saleh that the USG would provide Yemen with 150 million dollars in funding for 2010, including 45 million dollars to support the same CT units that had recently conducted attacks that resulted in mostly civilian casualties. General Petraeus also pledged U.S. military bombers to assist Yemen in carrying out further attacks. All of this was an increase in USG support of ROYG compared to previous years. It appears the majority of this funding and equipment was meant for the ROYG military, which, incidentally, is still in the process of carrying out brutal and inhumane activities against a large minority of its own people.