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Pentagon Hints at Deploying a Limited Number of Ground Troops in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Department of Defense (Reuters)

London – The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) hinted at deploying “limited forces” in Yemen, within the framework of its war against al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Pentagon Spokesperson Jeff Davis told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that his country was still concerned over the activities of al-Qaeda and other extremist organizations in Yemen, noting in this regard that a limited number of US troops could be deployed in the country.

Responding electronically to questions addressed to him by Asharq Al-Awsat, Davis said that since February 28, US forces have launched more than 70-targeted strikes against al-Qaeda, hitting the group’s infrastructure, military bases and equipment.

“We will continue these operations, along with air strikes, against the well-known terrorist operatives,” he added.

Davis noted that the US operations against al-Qaeda were aimed at limiting the group’s abilities to perpetrate terrorist attacks abroad and preventing it from using the Yemeni soil as a safe haven to orchestrate terrorist conspiracies.

“Al-Qaeda group still represents major threats to the region and the United States,” the official said, adding: “The presence of the organization has destabilizing effects on Yemen.”

“Consequently, he said, a limited number of US troops can be present sometimes on the Yemeni soil, just like we did before 2005, when the US forces withdrew from the country due to the instability that was caused by the Houthi rebels taking over power.”

“This will allow us to work closely with our partners in Yemen’s legitimate government and other countries in the region to limit the threats imposed by the presence of al-Qaeda in Yemen,” Davis added.

The Pentagon spokesman reiterated the US stance that no military solution could end the crisis in the war-torn country, adding that sustainable peace could only be achieved through negotiations and compromises for the sake of the Yemeni people.