In the latest sign of Washington’s deepening involvement in Yemen’s battle against an al-Qaeda affiliate, the U.S. military is preparing to give more than $100 million in counterterrorism and security aid to the Arabian country this year, according to newly obtained documents.
The U.S. government suspended military assistance to Yemen more than a year ago in response to then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s suppression of mass protests and other challenges to his 33-year rule.
In the aftermath of Saleh’s resignation in February and an easing of the country’s political crisis, the Obama administration notified Congress last month that it intends to resume military aid to Yemen. The aid is restricted for use by Yemen’s counterterrorism forces, which are locked in a struggle with an al-Qaeda affiliate that has also targeted the United States.
In June, the Pentagon told lawmakers that it would give $75 million worth of small arms, ammunition, vehicles, hand-launched surveillance drones and other equipment to Yemen’s Interior Ministry.