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DUBAI — Shiite rebels battling government forces in north Yemen told AFP on Saturday they are ready for talks with Sanaa once the government declares a "definitive" end to hostilities against them.
"When the war stops we will be ready for dialogue," Mohammed Abdelsalam told AFP in Dubai by telephone, adding that he was reacting to an appeal from President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In an article published on Friday to mark the new year, Saleh appealed for reason from the insurgents.
He urged the Zaidi rebels, also known as Huthis, to agree to the conditions laid down by the government for a return to peace, saying they should cease hostilities, withdraw from official buildings and respect the law.
"We tell our Muslim brothers in Yemen that we will cross the water between us and reach your place to assist you fight the enemy of Allah," Abu Mandou announced on Friday at a ceremony for hundreds of newly trained fighters in north Mogadishu.
"Today you see what is happening in Yemen, the enemy of Allah is destroying your Muslim brothers," he said.
"I call upon the young men in Arab lands to join the fight there."
In his comments on Saturday, al-Qirbi responded: "It would have been wiser for those who promise to export terrorism to work towards stability in their own war-ridden state."
al-Qaeda forces negotiated a truce with a local militia commander to give them time to surrender their weapons. In retrospect, however, many believe that the truce was a ruse to allow important al-Qaeda figures, including Osama bin Laden, to escape
SANA, Yemen — Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has rapidly evolved into an expanding and ambitious regional terrorist network thanks in part to a weakened, impoverished and distracted Yemeni government.
While Yemen has chased two homegrown rebellions, over the last year the Qaeda cell here has begun sharing resources across borders and has been spurred on to more ambitious attacks by a leadership strengthened by released Qaeda detainees and returning fighters from Iraq.
Yemeni officials say U.S. General David Petraeus met with Yemen's president Saturday, as the country steps up efforts to stop al-Qaida militants.
Sources say Petraeus, who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, discussed the security situation in Yemen with President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The American general recently said Washington would nearly double the $70 million it sends to Yemen in security assistance.
Top US soldier Gen David Petraeus has visited Yemen's president amid a renewed offensive against militants, local media and officials say
The general - responsible for US Middle East and Central Asian operations - reportedly said the US was keen to support Yemen's fight against al-Qaeda
Originally posted by LadySkadi
Frankly, I'm getting confused. The chessboard has become too microscopic and I'm losing (or have lost) sight of the bigger picture. So, perhaps someone would be so kind as to sketch out what may be happening in the Region... How does the troop drawdown in Iraq, troop increase in Afghanistan, and movements with US. Saudi and Yemen forces, all tie together? Where is this headed?
Saudi Arabia, Yemen's neighbor to the north, has launched its own operations against the Houthis. And Yemen accuses Iran of supporting the rebels. "If there was no support for the Al Houthis from the Iranian religious figures, the conflict would have not taken this long," said Yemen's Minister of Information, Hassan al-Lozy. "The Iranian government's goal is to portray this war as a Shi'ite-Sunni conflict." Hussein al Houthi was a member of Yemen's parliament. He was a frequent guest at this house in Yemen's capital, Sanaa. In 2004, he launched an armed rebellion against the state. He said he wanted to protect Zaidi Shi'ites, a majority in Saada, from Saudi-supported Wahabi Sunnis, whose numbers were growing in northern Yemen. Wahabism is the fundamentalist sect of Sunni Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. It says true Islam consists only of the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Sunnis, although not Wahabis, are the majority in Yemen.
the U.S. believes Saleh turned around at that time also because of pressure from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations, especially after the attempted assassination of Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed bin Naif by a suspected al Qaeda operative coming from Yemen. The U.S. also provided additional intelligence that al Qaeda was planning to strike targets in the capital city of Sanaa. The Pentagon is spending about $66 million this year to provide Yemen with security and military assistance including training Yemeni counter-terrorist forces. But the official and other administration sources confirmed that behind the scenes, much more is going on. U.S. military and intelligence agencies are providing not only training, but weapons and intelligence-targeting information.
Other factors that have made Yemen a concern include a growing youth population, hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and an increasing water shortage that is exacerbated by the growing production of the drug khat, which contains an amphetamine-like substance and requires more water than many other crops. There is also a substantial arms and drug smuggling network, with intelligence indicating some arms shipments to Hamas via Sudan and then Egypt. The official said not only are there senior al Qaeda leaders "putting down roots" in Yemen, but next door Somalia has now become home to al Qaeda in East Africa, which has ties to terrorists in Yemen, as well as to senior al Qaeda leaders across North Africa and in the Pakistani border region with Afghanistan.
Foreign minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has denied reports about a deal between Yemen and the United States of America that allows the latter to direct its missiles and drones against al-Qaeda targets in Yemen.
In an interview with Saba-run Alsyasiah Daily, the minister said there were no Yemen-U.S. anti-terror deals nor projects to be signed in this regard.
Originally posted by jam321
I believe Anwar al-Awlaki is the person the US is looking for in Yemen. He is the cleric who supposedly had ties to 9/11 and the FT Hood killer.
SANAA, Yemen -- Yemeni forces killed at least 30 suspected militants in an airstrike early Thursday on an alleged al-Qaeda hideout in southeastern Yemen, the second such assault in the past week, according to Yemeni security and government sources.
According to some accounts, the strike appeared to target the home of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the extremist Yemeni American preacher linked to the suspected gunman in the Fort Hood Army base attack in November.
The U.S. does not plan to open a new front in Yemen in the global fight against terrorism despite closing its embassy there in the face of Al Qaeda threats, President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser said Sunday.
"We're not talking about that at this point at all," White House aide John Brennan told Fox News when asked whether U.S. troops would be sent to Yemen.
"The Yemeni government has demonstrated their willingness to take the fight to Al Qaeda," he said. "They're willing to accept our support. We're providing them everything that they've asked for."
The comments came in the wake of the failed Christmas Day attack against a U.S. airliner by an accused 23-year-old Nigerian who says he received training and instructions from Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen.
President Obama plans to return from his holiday vacation in Hawaii for a Tuesday meeting at the White House about the airliner plot.