West’s Proxy Jihadist Terror Network Uncovered in
By Finian Cunningham
September 20, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "SCF"
- Significantly, Yemeni sources report
that alongside the fallen troops from the Gulf states are allied
mercenaries belonging to Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militia. The
mercenaries are believed to have been infiltrated
into Yemen after receiving receiving
training in set up in Saudi Arabia.
Given that the United States and Britain are openly supplying the
Saudi-led Gulf coalition with fighter jets, bombs and logistics, the
array of forces makes for a stark conclusion: the Western states are
working in Yemen in direct alliance with jihadist mercenaries. Why
this alarming reality is not more readily recognised is simply
because Western news media are obfuscating the situation in Yemen.
Yemen can therefore be seen as illustrating the
fullest expression yet of the covert relation between Washington and
its Western allies and the proxy role of Islamist terror groups.
In the overthrow of the Libyan government of
Muammar Gaddafi at the end of 2011, the US and other NATO powers
provided the air force that assisted the jihadist groups on the
ground. In the ongoing regime-change war in Syria, the Western
powers and their regional allies have funnelled Islamist mercenaries
into that country to destabilise the government of President Bashar
In both cases, Libya and Syria, the Western nexus
with the jihadists is vicarious and diffuse, allowing for a degree
of official denial of any such collusion.
However, what is emerging in Yemen is that the
Western states and their Arab client regimes are openly being seen
as on the side of the Al Qaeda-linked terror network.
The US, Britain and to lesser extent France claim
that they are supporting the “internationally recognised government
of Yemen”. They are referring to the deposed puppet-president Abed
Rabbo Mansour Hadi who fled in exile to Saudi Arabia earlier this
year. The country was subsequently over-run by remnants of the
Yemeni army and Houthi rebels, collectively known as “Popular
On March 26, a coalition of Arab states, led by
Saudi Arabia, and including Egypt, Jordan and the four Persian Gulf
monarchies of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates,
launched an aerial bombardment campaign on Yemen. That bombardment
has continued for nearly six months, resulting in over 5,000 deaths.
The bombing coalition is instrumented primarily by the US and
Britain, with the supply of F15, F16, Tornado and Typhoon warplanes.
In recent weeks, the Western, Saudi-led coalition
its operations with a ground-war front, involving up to 10,000
foreign troops based in the central Yemeni province of Marib, east
of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. The mainly Arab foreign troops
have been suffering heavy losses from the Yemeni Popular Committees.
Up to 45 Emirati soldiers and five Bahraini military personnel were
killed in one rocket attack earlier this month.
The Western media have barely reported on the
escalating violence in Yemen and the involvement of their
governments alongside Saudi and other Arab forces in an increasingly
bloody war of dubious legality against a sovereign country. The
Western-backed coalition does not have a UN Security Council mandate
for its actions, which therefore constitute foreign aggression.
Virtually blacked out, too, from the Western media
coverage is the fact that serving alongside the Western, Saudi-led
forces are jihadist mercenaries. This aspect has, however, been
reliably reported by Saba news agency, Al Manar and Press TV, among
Occasional Western media reports claim that
Islamist extremists are gaining ground in Yemen amid the chaos of
Western-backed Arab coalition forces fighting against Houthi rebels.
A New York Times report in
April headlined: ‘War In Yemen Is Allowing Qaeda Group To Expand’.
While the Reuters news agency reportedat
the end of June that: ‘In Yemen chaos, Islamic State grows to rival
However, rather than this development being a mere
accidental consequence, Yemeni sources claim a very different
scenario. They say that the Islamist groups are being activated and
supplied by the Western-backed Saudi coalition to help prosecute the
counterinsurgency war against the rebels. The rebel Popular
Committees are calling for a pluralist democratic government in
Yemen, which would mark a dramatic change from decades of Western
and Saudi-backed dictatorships in the country.
Western media reports have obliquely acknowledged
at least a tacit relationship between the Western-backed coalition
and the jihadist mercenaries. Both the Washington Post and the New
York Times have noted how during the past six months the
Western-assisted bombing coalition has not once targeted Al Qaeda in
the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) or the Islamic State (IS) group.
Indeed, a Wall
Street Journal report on September 10 from southern Yemen even
admits that the Arab military forces are collaborating with the
jihadists in pushing a joint offensive against the rebels. The WSJ
plays down the significance of this military cooperation as being a
transient pragmatic arrangement.
Nevertheless, such collaboration fits with a
bigger pattern seen elsewhere in Yemen, where Western-backed air
forces are reported by Yemeni sources to have dropped
off munitions and other supplies to Al Qaeda groups.
The same pattern has been identified in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has
disclosed in the past week that the US-led bombing coalition
supposedly operating against the IS network in that country has
under American command instructions often refrained from attacking
IS bases. Lavrov pointed out that this avoidance of air strikes
against the supposed “terror enemy” indicates that the US is not
serious about its claims of trying to defeat the IS group. The
Russian diplomat infers that the purpose of Washington-led bombing
coalition in Syria is really aimed at inflicting damage on the Assad
That Washington should go a step further in Yemen
and actually be in direct military alliance with al Qaeda-linked
jihadists should be of no surprise. Especially in light of the
revelation by former US Defence Intelligence Agency director
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. In an interview
with Al Jazeera news channel on July 29, Flynn said that
Washington took the “wilful decision” to promote Islamist jihadists
as a way of prosecuting regime change in Syria as far back as 2012.
In other words, what later evolved into the IS terror group is a
creation of Washington for its illicit geopolitical scheming in the
Yemen’s Al Qaeda franchise (AQAP) has been
targeted by Washington in drone assassinations going back several
years. But, as with intermittent lethal strikes in Syria and Iraq,
that does not mean that Washington is intent on “degrading and
defeating” the jihadists, as President Barack Obama claims.
Alternatively, Washington’s policy can equally be seen as a cynical
one of “containment and management” to better serve its ulterior
In June this year, a CIA
drone attack killed the AQAP leader Nasir al Wuhayshi in the
Yemeni province of Hadramawat. The Washington Post described the
killing as a “substantial setback to an al Qaeda affiliate that is
regarded as the terrorist organisation’s most dangerous affiliate”.
However, as a Reuters
report also noted, the US policy of targeting AQAP has had the
effect of bolstering the rival IS group. “While most analysts agree
that AQAP remains resilient, some argue that US methods, including
drone strikes, help create a climate conducive for the nascent
Islamic State to attract new followers,” reports Reuters.
It is significant that the Islamic State militia
has only become active in Yemen this year, emerging at the same time
that the Yemeni rebels kicked out the Western, Saudi-backed Hadi
regime. Days before the Western-backed coalition started bombing
Yemen, a double
suicide blast at two Shia mosques in Sanaa killed over 130
people. The massacre was claimed by the IS – believed to be the
first of its operations carried out in Yemen.
It should be noted that prior to that atrocity,
the Al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al Zawahiri had issued a prohibition on
AQAP attacks on mosques in Yemen.
Then in April, only a few weeks after the
Western-backed bombing of Yemen had started, the IS released a
video showing its cadres operating in the desert of Yemen, and
swearing allegiance to the IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, in
repudiation of the AQAP emir Zawahiri. According jihadwatch.org, the
video’s audio message said: “We have come to Yemen with men hungry
for blood to avenge the Sunnis and to take back the land they [the
Houthi rebels] have occupied…”
The question is: come to Yemen, from where? Under
whose direction and auspices?
The murky history of American collusion with
Islamist terror groups is well documented, going back to the
instigation of the international Mujahideen brigades in Afghanistan
as proxies against the Soviet Union during the late 1970s. In that
covert project, the US was enabled by intelligence counterparts from
Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. (See, for example, Peter Dale
Scott, The Road to 9/11.)
It is also documented how the Afghan proxies later
transformed into Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama bin Laden,
which has served the US well in its bogeyman role for the “war on
terror” pretext allowing Washington to carry out foreign invasions
and occupations. Al Qaeda has since evolved into Islamic State,
which officially came into being during 2014, splitting away from Al
Qaeda. In all this mayhem, the organisational names and leaders may
change, but the fundamental role of serving as a proxy for
Washington’s imperialist objectives remains.
What we are witnessing in Yemen with the invasion
of troops from Western client Arab regimes is the full-blown
relationship between the Western powers and the Islamist proxies
being made manifest. The Islamic State appears to be the proxy of
choice for the West and its clients over the former cats paw
incarnation, Al Qaeda. Yemen is bringing the clandestine
contradictions to a new and terrible light.
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