3:32 PM, Apr 17, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Obama administration once pointed to Yemen as the proof that the application of what it calls “smart power” works. Today, from John Zarocostas, writing for McClatchy, we learn that:
American citizens escaping Yemen, including small children and some frail elderly, are arriving exhausted in Djibouti after harrowing journeys from the besieged country …
The U.S. ambassador:
… Tom Kelly, said hundreds of Americans have arrived in Djibouti in recent days aboard foreign ships and aircraft after journeys that for some included hundreds of miles of dangerous land travel from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, to the ports of Hodeidah and Aden.
... some would-be evacuees ... left behind at the port of Aden because they had been unable to climb up rope ladders to board an Indian navy frigate from smaller boats that had ferried them to the larger ship, which had been unable to dock because of fighting in the city.
The Americans who fled Yemen were on their own after the Obama administration decided it wouldn’t be smart “to organize a rescue mission for the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. citizens in Yemen.”
Believing “it is too dangerous for U.S. military assets to enter Yemeni waters and air space.”
… that organizing Americans to meet at a single departure point would put them at risk of attack from al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula or other terrorist groups seeking American hostages.
Hard to see how we can survive many more successes like that.
11:17 AM, Apr 15, 2015 • By HUSSAIN ABDUL-HUSSAIN
Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
12:34 PM, Jan 11, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
House Homeland Security Committee chair Mike McCaul said on CBS that he expects to "see more and more" of the Paris style attacks take place around the world:
President on death of Luke Somers, held hostage by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.7:36 AM, Dec 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama issued this statement after the death of photojournalist Luke Somers, who was held hostage in Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in a rescue attempt.
12:02 AM, Sep 11, 2014 • By KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN
In an address Wednesday night to the nation, President Obama held up America’s strategy in Yemen as a model for the counterterrorism strategy he intends to pursue in Iraq and Syria. By doing so, he committed to a strategy of targeting terrorists from the air and supporting local security forces in their counterterrorism fight.
8:36 PM, Sep 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In talking about defeating ISIS, President Obama will cite the examples of Yemen and Somalia as models of success.
"This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama will say, according to an except released in advance of tonight's address to the nation.
11:42 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
A video of a large al Qaeda gathering in Yemen has raised eyebrows in the press. Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as general manager of al Qaeda’s global network, can be heard saying to a crowd of more than 100: "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"
8:20 AM, Aug 3, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
On Friday, the State Department announced that 21 diplomatic facilities (now updated to 22), from North Africa through the Middle East and into South Asia, are to be closed this weekend in response to an al Qaeda threat.
12:00 AM, Dec 14, 2012 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Earlier this week, the State Department designated the al Nusrah Front in Syria as an “alias” for al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). The head of AQI, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi al Husseini al Qurshi (a.k.a. Abu Du'a), “is in control of both AQI and al Nusrah.” The designation says a lot about our knowledge, or lack thereof, of al Qaeda’s clandestine international network.
8:30 AM, Oct 9, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night, President Obama defiantly declared that "al Qaeda is on its heels." The president made this claim at a fundraiser at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.