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Eric Schmitt of The New York Times reports U.S. Officers Kill Armed Civilians in Yemen Capital, in an steady escalation of violence against al Qaeda forces over the last two weeks.

WASHINGTON — A United States Special Operations commando and a Central Intelligence Agency officer in Yemen shot and killed two armed Yemeni civilians who tried to kidnap them while the Americans were in a barbershop in the country’s capital two weeks ago, American officials said on Friday.

The two Americans, attached to the United States Embassy, were whisked out of the volatile Middle East nation within a few days of the shooting, with the blessing of the Yemeni government, American officials said.

News of the shootings comes at a perilous moment for the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose collaboration with American drone strikes against suspected members of Al Qaeda is already a subject of seething resentment in Yemen. Yemenis believe, with some evidence, that the drone strikes often kill nearby civilians as well as their targets, so any indication that Mr. Hadi’s government helped conceal the killing of Yemenis by American commandos could be problematic.

Yesterday, I reported that Yemeni government forces backed up by American drones killed several al Qaeda fighers and destroyed a base camp. On Friday militants attacked a checkpoint near the presidential palace.

Knowing of this event at the barbershop two weeks ago provides context for the last 10 days of the Yemeni government's crackdown on al Qaeda strongholds.  

Author Eric Schmitt identifies one of the Americans the Yemeni armed civilians tried to kidnap was a "lieutenant colonel with the elite Joint Special Operations Command and the other was a C.I.A. officer," leading to the suspicion that this choice of kidnap victims may have been a "tactical error," on the part of these civilians. U.S. elite special forces officers should come with special warning tags, "attempt to kidnap at your own risk." (snark alert.)

In a third counter attack armed fighters attacked oil and gas pipelines in the province of Marib, apparently in retaliation for Yemeni attacks against al Qaeda camps and American drone strikes last month that killed three dozen members of an al Qaeda affiliate group in Yemen.

The American Embassy has not been evacuated, however, it is closed to the public and is not processing visas and other services according to the State Department.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

    by HoundDog on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:19:20 PM PDT

  •  Defending an autocratic kleptocrat against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peacestpete, Lujane

    al Qaeda and his more reasonable aggrieved citizenry is a dangerous game.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:32:36 PM PDT

  •  "U.S. officers." LOFL (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, YucatanMan, Just Bob, kharma

    That would be "CIA and special forces." Rings a bit different.

    •  LOL Well at least they didn't just call them (6+ / 0-)

      unidentified "American tourists" like they do sometimes.

      Here's what they could have said.

      "Breaking: CNN Yemen - Unidentified American tourists on vacation in Yemen had quite a start today, when more than a dozen al Qaeda militants stormed their "vacation resort"  with Uzi's and RPGs.

      Fortunately, the quite thinking tourists were able to fend off the attackers incurring no casualties, although a few had bumps and scraps he hotel "concierge was able to patch of with no problem. 10 terrorists were killed, two are in critical condition, and 5 are being held for questioning in a secure non-disclosed location.  17 innocent bystanders were wounded.

      One couple apparently on their honeymoon who wish to remain anonymous noted "it sure was lucky the hotel concierge just happened to have a dozen fully loaded M16s and grenades, and full body armor handy at the side desk when the attack occurred."  

      Two nearby buildings were completely destroyed in secondary explosions when several drones that just happened to be in the area were struck with shoulder mounted surface to air missals experts believe may have been left over from when the CIA was supplying anti-Soviet Afghan resistance fighters decades ago.

      The tour bus for the Sun Down Desert Tour was able to leave on time to the delight of all of the tourists.

      A Yemeni government official from the Ministry of Tourism reassured potential visitors that Yemin is a wonderful place to come bask in the sun and let your troubles melt away.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:27:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fantasy Film Feature (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog
        Vacation in Yemen
        Starring Sylvester 'Rambo' Stallone

        Arnold 'Ahhnold' Schwarzenegger

        Special Guest Star, Snake Plisken

        Special effects: CIA and JSOC

        Directed by Dick 'Dick' Cheney and the shadow government cabal of the MIC

        Brought to you by the US House of mis-representation

        All or part of this production has been financed by: The American taxpayers

        Disclaimer: Any depiction of secret war characters or events is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual characters or events is entirely coincidental. Do not take internally. Discontinue use if terrorist attacks reach politically damaging levels.

    •  That would be embassy officers although even (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thomask, HoundDog, Sky Net, IndieGuy

      that "Rings a bit different."

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You, Just Bob, are actually arguing here on (0+ / 0-)

        Dkos that the NYT saying "U.S. officer" rathger than "CIA agent" is a perfectly defensilble and innocent way to define this? That's just fucking gobsmacking. As if the terms, one from the other, carry no meaning, and no history. Jesus, Just Bob - you working?

        •  Dear Little, (0+ / 0-)

          You could not be more wrong. Pull your head out of your ass and stop assuming the worst of people you don't know.

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Sat May 10, 2014 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  LOL "tactical error" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, BusyinCA, Little
    Author Eric Schmitt identifies one of the Americans the Yemeni armed civilians tried to kidnap was a "lieutenant colonel with the elite Joint Special Operations Command and the other was a C.I.A. officer," leading to the suspicion that this choice of kidnap victims may have been a "tactical error," on the part of these civilians. U.S. elite special forces officers should come with special warning tags, "attempt to kidnap at your own risk." (snark alert.)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:27:41 PM PDT

    •  You noticed that one did you? I'm glad some did. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for calling attention to these little "gems" annieli. Most of the time they appear to go unnoticed. That doesn't stop me though.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:12:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can someone please remind me again, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, IndieGuy, Little

    what US military is trying to do in Yemen, and why?

    •  Spreading democracy and a love for freedom. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, BusyinCA

      (snark alert.) There are "al Qaeda base camps there so "the government" of Yemen "invited" us in to help wipe them out.

      Making the people so mad at the government that now if we leave the government will fall apparently.

      I'm not really sure. This is just what I've surmised from reading.

      The main purpose mentioned in this and recent articles is to protect the government from retaliation for letting us launch drone strikes which have killed some innocent bystanders making people really angry at the government.

      I hope it doesn't get so bad that they have to suspend democracy as that's always embarrassing. (Snark alert.)

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:19:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yemen is messed up all on its own (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    It's a lot like Afghanistan or Somalia: a backward and clannish society with a weak central government (the country doesn't even have a defined border with Saudi Arabia) where Al Qaeda finds it easy to operate under the tent of this or that sheik who recognizes no authority other than himself.  Yemen was cobbled together from part of the Ottoman Empire and a British colony and they've had differences of opinion since then: monarchists versus tribalists versus communists versus Islamists.

    It's a place where people are actually dying of thirst because the khat growers are taking all the water and anybody with any ambition either leaves to do honest work - the Bin Laden clan went to Saudi Arabia and got huge and filthy rich in construction: google "Bin Laden Group" - or dreams of becoming a jihadist.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Sat May 10, 2014 at 10:06:36 AM PDT

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