US Considers Backing New UAE Offensive Against Yemeni al-Qaeda

UAE Seeks Air Support, Logistics Help in Conflict

Already involved in the Saudi war in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Obama Administration are in talks to launch a completely separate conflict in Yemen, this time focused against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Details are still scant, and US officials declined to offer specifics because of “operational security,” but the UAE has apparently sought US air support and logistics help for the offensive, knowing the administration is eager to go after AQAP.

While we don’t know who is doing the fighting, the smart money is on the UAE using their “second army,” a group of mostly Colombian mercenaries initially created by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, as the UAE has already been using these mercenaries in the other Yemen war.

AQAP holds considerable territory in Yemen, including virtually the whole Abyan Province and the major southern port of al-Mukallah. Ironically, though AQAP had some territory in Abyan before, the Saudi war, which both the US and UAE are involved in, was the opportunity by which AQAP gained much of its territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of