Pentagon Suggests There’re No U.S. Troops In Yemen — But Last Month The White House Said There Are
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Intercept
Posted: February 4th, 2024
Amid a raft of U.S. strikes targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Pentagon has boots on the ground in the country — a fact the Defense Department has recently refused to acknowledge. “A small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS,” the White House told Congress ... on December 7. This month, the U.S. began its military campaign against the Houthis for attacking shipping vessels in the Red Sea. As the U.S. began to attack, defense officials suddenly became more reticent about the American military presence in Yemen. In a press briefing on January 17, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder was asked if he could give assurances that the U.S. had no troops on the ground in Yemen. “It’s possible that U.S. forces are spread so widely around the globe that not even the professional tasked with knowing that can keep track of it all,” said Erik Sperling, the executive director of Just Foreign Policy, who worked on Yemen as a Capitol Hill staffer. “But it’s also possible that, given the dramatic expansion in US presence in the region in recent months, he is trying to skirt the question to avoid greater scrutiny.” The U.S. has conducted eight rounds of strikes on Houthi targets in the past month alone. On December 18, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the creation of a U.S.-led coalition to defend ships against Houthi attacks.
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