American President Barack Obama approved secret joint U.S. military and intelligence operations with Yemeni soldiers that commenced six weeks ago and killed six regional al Qaeda leaders, The Washington Post reported. Obama approved a Dec. 24 raid against a compound where an American citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was believed to be meeting with regional al Qaeda leaders, the newspaper said in its Wednesday's edition.
He was not the target and did not die but since has been added to a short list of American citizens to be killed or captured by the U.S. military's secret Joint Special Operations Command, military officials told the daily. The US advisers do not participate in raids in Yemen but help plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons, the newspaper said. The United States is also sharing intelligence with the Yemen army, including electronic and video surveillance, three-dimensional terrain maps and analysis of the al Qaeda network, the Post said.
"We are very pleased with the direction this is going," a senior administration official was quoted as saying about the cooperation with Yemen.