|Date: 22/05/2012 Time: 11:36:00 PM
US Defense Department spokesman George Little
on Tuesday condemned a suicide attack on Monday in Sanaa that killed some 100
Yemeni paramilitary forces, and said the incident bears "all the hallmarks" of
a bombing by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
"This was a bomb set off in a crowded area, apparently during a rehearsal
for military commemorations, and there was enough ordnance attached to the
device that it resulted in serious loss of life," Little said during a
"I am not sure that we can draw any conclusions more broadly about where
terrorists might go in terms of their bomb-making and bomb attacks in Yemen or
anywhere else based on this one event," Little said. "We just need to stay
vigilant, and we will do that with our partners".
"We have a very strong military relationship with Yemen," he said. "That
relationship is focused in large part on jointly addressing the
counterterrorism threat posed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. We know
that they continue to plot against us".
Little confirmed that there are US military trainers on the ground in
Yemen, "and that is to support the government of Yemen's efforts to pursue
terrorists in their own country, and we believe that that is a reflection of
our shared commitment to thwart AQAP and its attempts to attack not just
Yemenis, but also Americans as well as other US and Yemeni partners and
Asked if US soldiers in Yemen might expand their role there in the future,
Little said the question was hypothetical.
"Our focus is on training, advising and assisting, and on deepening our
counterterrorism cooperation with Yemen," he said. "We are committed to that".