The United States has reportedly intensified its covert war in Yemen amid fears the tribal and popular uprising will be exploited by al Qaeda.
According to the New York Times, air strikes on suspected militants have been stepped up in recent weeks as the government in Sanaa teeters. A mid-level al Qaeda operative is said to have been killed in an attack last Friday.
The increased use of armed drones and fighter jets comes after a nearly year-long pause amid concerns over civilian deaths, the paper says. But US officials now see al Qaeda’s local offshoot as perhaps the most potent foreign terrorism threat.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh was long viewed as a crucial ally of America who allowed such clandestine operations. But he is now in hospital in Saudi Arabia after an attack on his palace.