US says marines in Yemen "temporary"

Published Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The US Embassy in Sanaa said on Tuesday that the deployment of a platoon of Marines to Yemen last week was only temporary and that their mission would be limited to guarding the embassy and its staff after its compound was attacked by demonstrators.

The Pentagon said on Friday it had sent a platoon of Marines to Yemen after youths attacked the US Embassy compound in protest against an anti-Muslim film made in the United States. A Yemeni official confirmed about 50 Marines had arrived.

The move drew outrage from many Yemenis, who object to Washington's heavy military involvement in their country, viewing it as a breach of sovereignty.

The anger is compounded by a number of elements, including routine drone strikes by the United States that target Al-Qaeda-linked fighters, but often kill civilians.

The United States also backed the hard line government of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who was overthrown in a popular, pro-democracy movement that erupted in the Gulf state last year.

Yemenis are today marking the one-year anniversary of a massacre perpetrated by Saleh's security forces that left 35 people dead.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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