PressTV: US steps up commando deployments to Yemen

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Marine One with US President Donald Trump flies with a decoy and support helicopters to Dover Air Force Base February 1, 2017 in Dover, Delaware, for the transfer of Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens who was killed in Yemen on January 29. (Photo by AFP)
Marine One with US President Donald Trump flies with a decoy and support helicopters to Dover Air Force Base February 1, 2017 in Dover, Delaware, for the transfer of Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens who was killed in Yemen on January 29. (Photo by AFP)

The Pentagon has quietly ordered fresh deployments of Special Operations troops to the Middle East and North Africa as the US intensifies its military engagement in Yemen, according to a report.

The moves signal that the US military appears to be launching a more aggressive campaign against al-Qaeda in Yemen, as well as Daesh in Syria and some regions of North Africa, ABC News reported, citing former and current military officials.

Late in January, the US military carried out the first known ground raid in Yemen in two years, which was followed by an unprecedented series of airstrikes this week.

That January 29 raid in al-Bayda province did not go smoothly. One Navy SEAL was killed and, according to local residents, as many as 25 civilians lost their lives. A military aircraft worth $75 million was also destroyed after it crash-landed at the operation site.

A veteran of 20 years of secret military operations said the administration of President Donald Trump has broadened the authority for more such operations overseas.

“Authorities have changed in special operations’ favor with the new administration,” he told ABC News. “We’re doing work on the bad guys.”

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has grown in weapons and number since the start of the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which was launched in March 2015 to bring back resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The terror organization has taken advantage of the chaos and breakdown of security to tighten its grip on the southern and southeastern parts of the crisis-hit country.

“The increased counterterrorism operations are compensating for the absence of a Yemeni counterterrorism capability and highly restricted operations under the Obama administration,” retired Army Special Forces Col. Mark Mitchell told the network.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis (L) board Air Force One prior to departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, March 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US will continue with unannounced deployments of American commando units from the Army’s Delta Force and Navy SEAL teams, officials said. However, the new administration will be under close scrutiny as last month’s raid has become increasingly politicized in Washington.

White the White House hailed the Yemen operation as a success, Democrats and other critics question whether any intelligence gathered was worth the high cost of SEAL Ryan Owens’ life and children killed in crossfire.

Trump has tried to distance himself from the botched raid by emphasizing that the operation had been in the works long before he took office. The president has also refused to take responsibility for Owens’ death, blaming it on his generals.

During his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Trump insisted that the ground raid yielded valuable intelligence that would “lead to many more victories in the future.” Some US officials have disputed that claim, saying the raid gathered little, if any, workable intelligence.

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Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB's head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country's conservative political faction.

Press TV is headquartered in Tehran, and has offices and bureaus around the world, including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip. It bills itself as a third alternative to what it considers to be biased Western media and to Sunni media attached to radical Islamic terror groups; critics consider it a shill for the Iranian regime.

Press TV is the first Iranian international news network. Their global Tehran-based headquarters is staffed with outstanding Iranian and foreign media professionals. Press TV is extensively networked with bureaus located in the world's most strategic cities. They feature often neglected voices and perspectives from around the world with aim to build bridges of cultural understanding, encouraging cooperation and unity between human beings of different nationalities, and races. They bring to light untold and overlooked stories of individuals who have experienced the vitality and versatility of political and cultural divides firsthand.

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  1. More bad craziness. Just what America needs another major conflict that will quickly escalate into all out war in Yemen.
    America is a runaway train with no brakeman on board and the bridge ahead is out.
    This is what the Trump supporters now have to deal with: Their vote out this buffoon and others like him in the White House.
    The people of Yemen now have another enemy to kill. And they will do it.
    How many more flag draped coffins are going to be flown back to Dover before the American people have had enough?
    Or are the lot of them just that stupid?

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