US Attack on Yemen Signals Escalation of Conflict

Al-Qaeda Seen as Growing Threat

President Obama’s Saturday missile attack inside Yemen signals the first shots in an escalation of the conflict with al-Qaeda in the nation, one of several wars Yemen is fighting at the same time.

The US has given little detail of the attacks, which killed dozens of civilians, and Yemen has as usual been tight-lipped, giving occasional conflicting press releases. Still, it is apparent from the attack that they see al-Qaeda as a growing threat.

In its other conflicts, Yemen has traditionally been comfortable with very public grousing about the seriousness of the situation and receiving big checks from the US for military hardware. It is uncharacteristic for the nation to openly endorse a US military attack on their soil.

The attack is particularly problematic given Yemen’s recent condemnation of “outside interference” in its assorted conflicts. The more serious concern however is where the US goes from here, as it rarely seems to be satisfied with a single air strike when it decides a nation poses a threat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of