Green Berets Are Now On The Ground Assisting The Saudi War On Yemen In "A Marked Escalation"

Once again a creeping, years' long shadow war is expanding from indirect proxy intervention to direct engagement, complete with US "boots on the ground" where no American ground forces were previously thought to exist.

And it's not Syria, or Libya, or central Africa where the now familiar pattern played out before, but in the Arabian peninsula where the Pentagon has long claimed to merely coordinate intelligence, refuel jets, and provide logistical support to the Saudis which have been bombing Yemen since March of 2015.

Spec Ops Magazine: Old photo (in 2017 or prior) of U.S. Special Forces posing for a picture at undisclosed location, which were likely previously engaged in anti-AQ operations in Yemen. Now the mission has shifted to focus on Houthi targets and pro-Iran forces in the region.

On Thursday The New York Times revealed for the first time that US special forces have been on the ground supporting Saudi coalition forces since late last year:

But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.

With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.

According to the report, the elite Army operators were sent to assist the Saudis starting in December, weeks after ballistic missiles fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels came close to directly hitting Riyadh's international airport, though the Saudis claimed to have intercepted it - a claim which was subsequently cast into doubt by weapons experts.

At that point, a worried Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly renewed calls for the the United States to send ground troops in order to bolster Saudi-led operations aimed at rooting out the source of the sophisticated Yemeni missile attacks, which have occurred on multiple occasions over the past year of fighting.

Like all administrations going back to 2001, the White House is relying on the the 9/11-era Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) to give legal justification for its actions in the Arabian peninsula. But this time the target is not primarily al-Qaeda, ISIS, or Sunni Islamist militants, but Iran — which the Trump administration has repeatedly accused of supplying Yemen's Shia Houthis with its ballistic missile arsenal.

To underscore the US perception that it is fundamentally in a struggle against Iranian influence in Yemen, the Times quotes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who stated during a visit to Riyadh on Sunday“Iran destabilizes this entire region.” Pompeo further charged Iran with supporting “militias and terrorist groups" — specifically that it is “an arms dealer to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.”

However, even the usually national security state-friendly New York Times isn't fully buying the "it's necessary to counter Iran" narrative spun by the Pentagon, instead calling the Green Beret presence "a marked escalation of Western assistance to target Houthi fighters who are deep in Yemen."

The NYT further notes that, “There is no evidence that the Houthis directly threaten the United States; they are an unsophisticated militant group with no operations outside Yemen and have not been classified by the American government as a terrorist group.”

* * *

So if we are once again on the slow and creeping path of American "boots on the ground" in yet another Middle East proxy war, how did we get here?

To quickly review, Saudi airstrikes on already impoverished Yemen, which have killed and maimed tens of thousands of civilians (thousands among those are children according to the UN) and displaced hundreds of thousands, have been enabled by both US intelligence and military hardware. Cholera has recently exploded amidst the appalling war-time conditions, and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools have been bombed by the Saudis.

After Shia Houthi rebels overran Yemen’s north in 2014, embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to “extract Yemen from the claws of Iran” something which he's repeatedly affirmed, having been given international backing from allies in the West, and a major bombing campaign began on March 2015 under the name "Operation Decisive Storm" (in a cheap mirroring of prior US wars in Iraq, the first of which was "Desert Storm").

Saudi Arabia and its backers fear what they perceive as growing Iranian influence in the region, something considered by some analysts to be grossly exaggerated, and seek to defend at all costs Yemeni forces loyal to UN-recognized President Hadi - who since 2017 appears to be in some sort of house arrest situation in Riyadh. According to Al Jazeera Saudi Arabia's King Salman has denied Hadi's repeat requests to return to Yemen in order to rally forces loyal to him. 

The pro-Saudi coalition goes far beyond US involvement but also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and Britain; and the Saudi initiated war has also received behind the scenes political support from Israel, something recently confirmed by Israeli officials.

Concerning the supposed Iran threat in Yemen, an emergency session of the Arab League held in response to the November 4th Houthi missile attack on Riyadh doubled down on its shared commitment to wage war against Iranian interests after it blamed Tehran for the supplying and advising the attack, which Iran for its part denies playing a role in. 

The attack clearly rattled not just the Gulf allies, but the US itself (concerned chiefly over what it perceived as "Iran's reach"), which is apparently what led to the relatively quick deployment of the special forces to the Saudi border with Yemen. 

* * *

But for all the international powers involved in the anti-Houthi military alliance, the coalition may be dysfunctional and in shambles, at least according one major Middle East Eye investigation published in late 2017. 

The report predicted that the Saudi military campaign is likely to end in total failure as "more than two years into a disastrous war, the coalition of ground forces assembled by the Saudis is showing signs of crumbling" and as the Saudis have become increasingly reliant on foreign mercenaries for its ground forces, such as a huge contingent of Sudanese mercenaries and UAE officers

It is entirely possible and probable that should the coalition suffer continued setbacks, or should at any point Houthis gain in strength and territory, the US would bolster its role by ramping up its current special forces contingent. As recent history has born out — most especially in Syria for example — a tiny "footprint" easily slides into small forward operating bases, and then on to thousands of conventional forceswithout so much as a peep from Congress.

On that note, however, the New York Times reports the following congressional exception:

Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and a member of the Armed Services Committee, on Thursday called the Green Berets mission a “purposeful blurring of lines between train and equip missions and combat.” He cited the report in The Times and called for a new congressional vote on the authorization for the use of military force — a war powers legislation used by three successive presidents in conflict zones around the world.

And concerning just what the Green Berets have been and will be doing along the Yemeni-Saudi border, the Times continues:

A half-dozen officials — from the United States military, the Trump administration, and European and Arab nations — said the American commandos are training Saudi ground troops to secure their [Saudis] border. They also are working closely with American intelligence analysts in Najran, a city in southern Saudi Arabia that has been repeatedly attacked with rockets, to help locate Houthi missile sites within Yemen.

Along the porous border, the Americans are working with surveillance planes that can gather electronic signals to track the Houthi weapons and their launch sites, according to the officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the mission publicly.

In spite of the usual promises to the contrary, we expect to hear of direct US commando and pro-Iranian Houthi clashes any day now. 

And likely, the currently reported number of about "a dozen" US special forces on the ground is perhaps much higher, as Wednesday's NYT report itself suggests: On April 17, Robert S. Karem, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States had about 50 military personnel in Saudi Arabia, “largely helping on the ballistic missile threat.”

As we've pointed out the obvious many times before, whether it's the Middle East, Africa, or Eastern Europe, the familiar pattern of American military expansion goes something like this...

First we are promised that US troops are merely in a country for limited "training" missions with "partner" forces; next we are told of "counter-terror" operations which require an increased "footprint"; after which we are assured once again that there are "no boots on the ground" but a "minimal" increase of train and assist missions; finally, US soldiers begin to come home in body bags at which point the 9/11 era AUMF is cynically invoked and Congress passively looks the other way. 

And now it appears the cycle will repeat itself in already war-torn Yemen. 

Comments

Beam Me Up Scotty commiebastid Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

"We said that already back in the 60s sorry to say.

Empires gonna empire."

 

Except now all of those anti-establishment hippies of the anti-war 60's, are leading the charge to ram Big Brother right down EVERYONE'S throats!!  They are the cheerleaders, on the college campuses, for more government control, more Big Brother!!  Where is Cindy Sheehan???

They didn't like institutional control back then, but they sure enjoy it now!!

In reply to by commiebastid

Blankone oncemore1 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:20 Permalink

Putin worked against the people of Yemen, Putin supported UN actions against Yemen, Putin worked to prevent needed military supplies from getting to Yemen rebels, ... all of which was aligned with US wishes and ultimate agendas. However, Iran alone has support the Yemen rebels.

Why is that?

Same things Russia did to Iraq, Libya, Syria and ..... Iran. Watch your back Iran.

In reply to by oncemore1

tsog Blankone Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

2018/02/26 Russian (& Bolivian) veto for UN Resolution S/2018/156 regarding Iranian non-compliance with Yemen arms embargo.

http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/document/s2018156.php

I have seen zero actual proof that Iran is supplying the Houthi with anything.

Russia at the UNSC has okayed sanctions against Yemen, but you must admit it's an evolving, complex situation.
Just ask the Green Berets - or the Sudanese. 

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180430-pressure-mounts-for-sudan-to-withdraw-troops-from-yemen/

UNSC Resolutions, etc. regarding Yemen:

http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/yemen/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In reply to by Blankone

el buitre Klassenfeind Fri, 05/04/2018 - 22:52 Permalink

The group which V the Gorilla of Rogue Money refers to as Q Anus is an obvious Mossad limited hangout psy-ops.  “By deception shall we wage war.”  The designated interpreter of its Delphic mumbo jumbo, Jerome Corsi is an unapologetic, blatant Zionist, Israeli firster.  As pedophile Joe Biden has stated, "I am a Zionist.  You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist.”  Only honest thing that Idiot Joe ever said.  The purpose of Q Anus is to dupe the USA into a war with Iran for the benefit of NutsyYahoo and the Rothschild Cabal.  “Trust Bolton!”  Right!!!  Q Anus is willing to appear to support Libertarian and Constitutional issues in order to stop Trump's demographic base from pressuring him to avoid a stupid war with Iran, which would probably lead to a thermonuclear war with Russia and China.

In reply to by Klassenfeind

are we there yet halcyon Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:33 Permalink

Yemen is perfect for a banker war. Americans do not care about it, no one wants to vacation there, they are dumb, brown, illiterate, dangerous to outsiders and each other, and do not make any product that the average American likes. Plus, none of their Islamic warlords is a real military threat. So we might actually win.

In reply to by halcyon

mc888 Normally Aspirated Sat, 05/05/2018 - 01:14 Permalink

That actually makes sense.

The pro-Saudi coalition goes far beyond US involvement but also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Sudan, and Britain; and the Saudi initiated war has also received behind the scenes political support from Israel

The report predicted that the Saudi military campaign is likely to end in total failure as "more than two years into a disastrous war, the coalition of ground forces assembled by the Saudis is showing signs of crumbling" and as the Saudis have become increasingly reliant on foreign mercenaries for its ground forces, such as a huge contingent of Sudanese mercenaries and UAE officers.

With this much help, how could they fail? Are the Saudis really that weak and pathetic? I guess they are. Because this is the move of a bunch of LOSERS.

In reply to by Normally Aspirated

veritas semper… dirty fingernails Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

   I remember the Donald's sanctimonious face when ,accompanied by Yael , laid flowers to one American mercenary , known officially as a soldier in the "force for good". The mercenary was killed last year in Yemen ,in a confusing "fighting the terrorists" story. We have to fight them there so we don't fight them here kinda bullshit.
  The Donald looked "very presidential" given his flowery appreciation to the dumb criminal f*ck killed so that the Banking Cartel ,big corporations and MIIC make some money and the Empire preserves his petro-f*cking-dollar.
  I remember how the Donald sold  weapons worth Bil $ to our ally in crime , Saudi Arabia, so they can continue their genocide in Yemen and be able to send weapons to ISIS/AlQaeda in Syria , so we can have "plausible deniability". Then he danced the "sword dance and fondled the Wahhabi Globe".

  I'm sure these actions are part of MAGA , but I have to identify how.

In reply to by dirty fingernails

Jim in MN DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:15 Permalink

Yemen is a hideous crime against morality, perpetrated by a greedy elite for their own disgusting purposes.

It is, however, nearly the only such crime left on EARTH.

We are already in a period of unprecedented global peace.  The only hot wars left on the planet are Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Heck, the Mexican drug war is now the biggest on the planet after those three.

Syria can get wound down.  There is a political solution for Afghanistan supported by regional powers.

YEMEN COULD BE THE LAST WAR ON EARTH.

The Saudis need to be shamed out of this butchery.  Or just told 'NO-STOP' by the USA.

Let's do it!

By the way those Green Berets had to have been ordered in by the blood-soaked Democratic administration and their Deep State lapdogs, before the Inauguration.  Just like the 'extra supplies' for the Syrian 'moderate opposition'.  A series of last-ditch goodbye presents from Mama Clinton, Bad Daddy McCain and the rest of the ghoul squad.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Endgame Napoleon DingleBarryObummer Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

He should reopen the 9/11 probe because of the FBI’s treatment of a woman who was able to get a patriotic Middle Eastern immigrant to wear a listening device, which let the FBI overhear the 9/11 terrorists plotting their mass murder in a mosque in NYC.

The MSM dempasized the details of this issue, brushing it under the rug by saying there was turf-war tension between the intelligence agencies, but this woman sued and won after the FBI fired her. 

Even though I heard about this from an author who wrote a book about this woman on C-SPAN and read a few articles, I did not understand all of the interconnections of this case until I read this article by Rep. Louis Gohmert.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-03/exposed-naked-truth-about-robert-mueller

But more military intervention in the Middle East is NOT why we voted for Trump. We voted for him to get control of our southern border—the southern border of the USA, not any border of any nation—whether built or unbuilt—in the Middle East.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Brazen Heist BullyBearish Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:17 Permalink

Does anybody that fights for the US empire of globalized racketeering actually believe in fighting for these greedy scumbags? If its just to bring home a paycheck, with the way they have privatized warefare, its a pretty pathetic livelihood.

Modern day Rome will pay for its crimes, if not at an international court, by social collapse. Eventually a whole lot of morally depraved, gung-ho, mentally sick and physically disabled veterans will come home to roost and bring back all their psychological problems back to the US of A, creating a multiplier effect on society. The shit you sow in other people's countries, will come back and bite you. War fatigue is coming, especially when the wars have no moral or intellectual standing other than brazen racketeering and thuggery.

Watch this video

US Soldier tosses his badge and apologizes for his war crimes in Iraq

 

In reply to by BullyBearish

August Brazen Heist Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

>>>a whole lot of morally depraved, gung-ho, mentally sick and physically disabled veterans will come home to roost and bring back all their psychological problems....

With sincere condolences to wives, girlfriends, parents etc. of US military serving UNINVITED in war-torn foreign countries, I hope those veterans come home in several pieces or, preferably, dead.  Each dead or mutilated American who comes back to The Homeland from Syria, Yemen or other similar locale is a step toward a better world.

Sometimes the truth is damn ugly.

In reply to by Brazen Heist