Biden Reveals «Limited» US Forces in Yemen to Counter «Terrorism»


Thu, 09-12-2021 05:04 PM, Aden

Washington (South24)

In a letter to the US Congress, in which he reviewed the US military deployment in the Middle East, President Joe Biden revealed the presence of a "small number" of forces in Yemen.

Biden states that these forces were deployed to carry out operations against al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Biden stressed that the US government is working "closely" with the internationally recognized Yemeni government and regional partner forces to "degrade the terrorist threat posed by those groups".

Biden also indicated that the US military presence in Saudi Arabia aims to protect Washington's interests from "hostile" by Iran and their backed groups.

He also spoke about the US forces in Syria and Lebanon, and confirmed the total exit of combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year.

Pictures published by local media and activists showed a number of soldiers believed to be Americans in Ghail Bawazir city, Hadramout Governorate, South Yemen, on October 12.

These soldiers were accompanied by military vehicles and search dogs.

Photo: Allegedly US soldier in Ghail Bawazir, Hadramout Governorate, October 12, 2021 (Fahad Al-Hamdi)

South Yemen has recently witnessed an increased activity of extremist organizations, targeting mostly the STC forces and the cities under its control.

Last November, AQAP's Malahim organization published part of a "private interview", with Khaled Batarfi, AQAP's leader.

Batarfi attacked the pro-STC Southern Security Forces, accusing them of returning to the socialist regime that ruled the former state of South Yemen, which al-Qaeda considers an "atheist", praising the Afghan Taliban movement, and advising the "Muslim Brotherhood" [Islah party] to follow its path.

Batarfi had appeared in a previous video last May, in which he called for a protest against the STC, and incited against the Southern forces, coinciding with calls for demonstrations in Aden.

The activity of al-Qaeda and ISIS declined significantly after the expulsion of al-Qaeda from the city of Mukalla in Hadramout, South Yemen in 2016 by the pro-STC "Hadrami Elite Forces", with the support of the "Arab Coalition", primarily the UAE.

The Shabwani Elite Forces also fought al-Qaeda in Shabwa Governorate between 2018-2019, before the Shabwani Elite was expelled in August 2019 after clashes with pro-Islah Islamic Party Forces.

The US State Department's report on "terrorism" for 2019 indicated that the gains in the war against "terrorism" in Yemen declined after the pro-STC Shabwani Elite Forces were disbanded.

The Southern forces were able to liberate many areas in Abyan Governorate from al-Qaeda, the most important of which was the Al-Mahfad district in 2017.

Southern Security Forces also launched large-scale security campaigns against al-Qaeda and ISIS cells in the capital, Aden, and the neighboring Lahj Governorate.

The STC demands the international and regional community to support the Southern Forces to complete their war against "terrorist" organizations, including the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which it places in one box with it.

STC President Major General Aidrous Al-Zubaidi, appointed Major General Shaalal Ali Shai'i as commander-in-chief of the anti-terrorism forces in South Yemen on May 29. 

South24 Center for News and Studies
Photo: United World International 

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