Obama's New Secret Wars (Yemen-Terrorism)
The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon) 2011, August 6, 141, 1263
The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
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Three days after US Special Forces assassinated Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideaway, the Americans mounted a major operation to kill a Yemeni they have branded one of the most dangerous operatives in al-Qaeda, a cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki. His importance as a target can be measured by the forces sent to eliminate him: US Marine Corps vertical takeoff Harrier fighters, a Special Operations aircraft armed with short-range Griffin air-to-ground missiles and a Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) carrying AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The multi-aircraft strike was part of a significant escalation in the largely secret US campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen and currently deemed the most dangerous jihadist group on the planet. "This marks a major escalation in Washington's fight against the group, which is widely considered the most threatening to the US homeland of all al-Qaeda's affiliate," observed Washington analyst Jim Lobe. The intensification of covert operations mounted by the US military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the Central Intelligence Agency underline how President Barack Obama, while scaling down US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is cranking up secret wars not just in Yemen, but in Somalia across the Gulf of Aden. "This marks a major escalation in Washington's fight against the group, which is widely considered the most threatening to the US homeland of all al-Qaeda's affiliate," observed Lobe. On June 23, the Americans conducted their first known attack in Somalia using UAVs armed with supersonic, armor-piercing Hellfire missiles with a range of 5 miles. The target was a camp used by al-Shebaab, an Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda and designated a terrorist organization by the US State Department in 2008.
- Category: Reference
- Published: Aug 06, 2011
- Publisher: The Middle East Reporter
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 9 Pages
- Language: English