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Saturday, 2 March, 2002, 01:10 GMT
US military advisers heading for Yemen
Yemeni soldiers on parade
The US wants to encourage Yemeni action against al-Qaeda
The United States has agreed is to send military advisers to Yemen to train forces pursuing members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

The plan represents another step by President George W Bush to extend its anti-terror war beyond Afghanistan, where about 5,000 American are currently deployed.


We expect results... and the Yemeni government is responding,

President Bush
Yemeni officials said up to 100 US military advisers would be sent, who would provide training and advice for Yemeni military and security forces.

The Yemeni authorities pledged to support the US anti-terror campaign after the 11 September attacks, and have been hunting down fugitive al-Qaeda members since then.

Unmanned US spotter planes may be redeployed to Yemen from Afghanistan, reports said.

US soldiers arriving in the Philippines
The Philippines could be the model for a US deployment
A US military official quoted by Wall Street Journal compared the potential mission to the US commitment in the Philippines where more than 600 troops are training local soldiers to fight Islamic guerrillas.

The US is also preparing to send special forces trainers to the former Soviet republic of Georgia to help train its army to fight guerrillas near the Chechen border.

A Yemeni official told the Journal that added the soldiers would arrive in stages in groups of 20-30 and would stay for 15-20 days.

A senior Defence Department official said the US assistance would go beyond anti-terror training to include equipment and advice.

Caution

Washington believes that Bin Laden was behind an attack on one of its warships while it was calling in Yemen.

Seventeen US servicemen died in the attack on the USS Cole in Aden in October 2000.

The Yemeni authorities are pursuing two suspects in the attack, Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal and Ali Qaed Senyan al-Harthi.

They also recently arrested five men named by the FBI as terror suspects.

But efforts to track down al-Qaeda have at times met with disaster.

During a raid on a village in December, at least 13 soldiers were killed and 18 wounded and four army vehicles destroyed.

Three senior al-Qaeda suspects staying in the village managed to escape in the fighting, which left four other people dead.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Walid Saqqaf, editor of the Yemen Times
"The public is not in favour of any US presence"
See also:

15 Feb 02 | Middle East
Terror suspects held in Yemen
11 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Timeline: Yemen
11 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Yemen
16 Feb 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
Yemen's catalyst for change
12 Oct 01 | Middle East
USS Cole memorial dedicated
19 Dec 01 | Middle East
Yemen praised after al-Qaeda operation
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