x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Al Qa'eda's use of Yemen worries US, envoy says

Gerald Feierstein, the newly appointed US ambassador to Yemen, says the US is troubled by al Qa'eda's use of Yemen as a base for operations inside and outside the country.

SANA'A// Gerald Feierstein, the newly appointed US ambassador to Yemen, said yesterday the US is troubled by al Qa'eda's use of Yemen as a base for operations inside and outside the country. 

"We have deep concerns about the ability of al Qa'eda, which has global objectives to operate freely and use Yemeni territories to carry out its agenda," Mr Feierstein said at a press conference in Sana'a.

Mr Feierstein, who took up his new post two weeks ago, refused to acknowledge or deny if US predator drones had carried attacks against al Qa'eda militants and if they plan more such attacks. 

There has been an increase in attacks recently by al Qa'eda against western and Yemeni state targets, and yesterday the group's military chief in Yemen, Qassin al Rimi, announced the creation of the "Aden-Abyan Army" to free the country of "crusaders and their apostate agents", Agence-France Presse reported.

Ghazi al Samwai, a criminal investigations officer who was on an al Qa'eda hit list of policemen, was gunned down on Monday in the southern province of Abyan. Samwai's murder comes as the government continued the trials of dozens of suspected militants. 

malqadhi@tehnational.ae