It is no secret that the US military has been launching attacks against targets inside Yemen for awhile now, but the depth of those attacks has been deliberately covered up by the US government, with the aid of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The revelation, in one of the new WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, reports that Saleh had agreed to claim that bombings against targets in the country were all Yemeni air strikes, and not American ones. This puts in question just how many of the putative Yemeni bombing strikes this year were really American ones.
Saleh was said to have expressed concerns about the number of civilians killed in the December 24 strike, which his government claimed credit for but which was carried out by the US. General Petraeus was said to have denied the reports of civilian deaths and the cable called Saleh uninformed.
Yet the Yemeni government continued to probe the attack and months after the cable they were forced to publicly apologize when it was revealed the attack had killed only two al-Qaeda members and 42 civilians.