The Yemeni Cleric’s Association today issued a warning that they will call for jihad in the event that the United States or anyone else invades Yemen. The statement also cautioned against allowing foreign powers to set up military bases or carry out attacks on Yemeni soil.
The group, led by hardline cleric Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, met in the capital city of Saana this week, and reportedly the statement was signed by 150 clerics, giving it enormous significance in the nation.
The United States insists they are not considering a ground invasion of Yemen, but has already launched missile strikes on Yemeni soil. There has been growing pressure to escalate America’s presence in Yemen, as well as launching even more strikes.
The statement puts the Yemeni government in a difficult position, as privately officials concede the war against al-Qaeda isn’t going nearly as well as claimed. With the nation already fighting two civil wars as well as the al-Qaeda conflict, its position continues to weaken. At the same time, it can scarcely afford to alienate the Sunni clergy, one of the few allies it still has.