SANAA (Dispatches) – The U.S. has deployed some of its troops to a strategic airbase in southwestern Yemen after withdrawing them from Yemen, a report says.
Yemen Press Agency carried the report, saying the forces first arrived at the Aden airport and were then taken to the neighboring province of Lahij where they were stationed at the Al-Anad Airbase.
The development came after the Pentagon said 95 percent its withdrawal from Afghanistan had been completed.
The U.S. has been providing strong political and material support for a 2015-present Saudi invasion of Yemen, the Arab world’s already poorest country.
The kingdom has been seeking to return power to Yemen’s former Saudi Arabia-friendly officials. The war has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and forced the entire country close to the brink of outright famine.
Washington and its allies have been lending willing arms support to Saudi Arabia, including by giving it precision ammunition that the invaders have been using against Yemeni children and others. American fuel tankers also provided aerial refueling for the coalition’s warplanes during the biggest part of the war.
Yemen Press Agency said Saudi Arabia expelled UAE forces stationed at the base after the arrival of the American troops. The expulsion, the report said, involved clashes between Saudi and Emirati forces.
The U.S. military has begun transferring military vehicles, drones, and Patriot missile systems to Al-Anad and setting up a field operations command center there, it added.
The transfer reportedly coincided with the purge of Al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists in a major operation in Al-Bayda province in central Yemen.
On Tuesday, Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman Yahya Saree said hundreds of takfiri terrorists had been either killed or injured in the purge.
Yemen’s Supreme Political Council in Sanaa held a meeting on Tuesday to mark the Al-Bayda victory.
“Our nation is tired of U.S. plots and bogus calls for peace,”
the council said in a statement.
The U.S. deployment to Yemen comes after its defeat in Afghanistan. The U.S. general leading the war in Afghanistan, Austin Miller, relinquished command at a ceremony on Monday and quietly left the country, a symbolic end to America’s longest conflict while Taliban insurgents gain momentum.
President Joe Biden has set a formal end to the U.S. military mission for Aug. 31 as he looks to disengage from a conflict that killed about 2,400 U.S. service members wounded many thousands.
The United Nations said in a report in January there were as many as 500 Al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and that the Taliban maintained a close relationship with the Daesh militant group.