U.S. denies military role in Yemen

Dec. 16, 2009 at 4:57 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Washington denied its military forces were involved in the Yemeni conflict with al-Houthi rebel fighters in the north of the country.

Al-Jazeera and other regional news outlets reported this week that U.S. military jets launched air raids on al-Houthi outposts near the border with Saudi Arabia.

Al-Houthi statements said Tuesday marked the third day of U.S. military strikes in the region, blaming American forces for striking two mosques in their air raids. Additional statements from al-Houthi groups point to U.S. involvement in the deaths of more than 120 people in recent attacks.

P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, rejected the allegations outright.

"We do not have a military role in this conflict," he said.

Yemen launched a scorched-earth campaign against the rebel group in August. U.S. ally Saudi Arabia entered the fight recently, launching its own military and aerial strikes on border security concerns.

Iran, meanwhile, is blamed for supporting the Shiite al-Houthi group, something Tehran denies.

U.S. forces have acted in a training capacity for the Yemeni military. Six Yemeni military officials trained in South Carolina in November with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories