Yemen Vows to Tackle al-Qaeda on Its Own

Yemen's UN Envoy Says Nation Not Encouraging US Attacks

Following President Barack Obama’s promise earlier this week to escalate attacks on militant factions in Yemen, the Yemeni Ambassador to the United Nations says that while intelligence assistance from the US was welcome, the nation isn’t encouraging American attacks.

That claim may come as a surprise, as just two weeks ago the US launched cruise missile attacks as part of a strike coordinated with the Yemeni government, and that government has also bragged about US aid in its failed assassination attempt against US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

The Yemeni government was quite eager to sign a military pact with the US, guaranteeing American cooperation in its assorted domestic conflicts. Yet the prospect of a full scale American war in the nation seems to have them balking, at least publicly.

Which probably isn’t surprising. Yemen’s credibility as a sovereign nation is at stake, particularly with the nation already struggling with multiple separatist movements. Getting on the US gravy train is one thing, but becoming a government that exists purely at the pleasure of an American invasion force is quite another.

Still, US officials say they already have a new list of potential targets drawn up, a list made in concert with Yemeni intelligence agencies. In the wake of the failed Christmas lap bomber, the Obama Administration seems to feel the need to do “something,” even if it is just lobbing missiles heedlessly at Yemen.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of