Yemen: US drones ‘hit anti-Saleh protesters’


US warplanes and drones have been bombing anti-government forces in Yemen amid the uprising against long-time US ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two US officials said on June 9 that US forces launched an air strike on June 3 against Islamist militants in the south of the country to keep al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoot from taking advantage of the uprising in the Gulf state.

The attack followed a May 5 drone strike on alleged militants, they said.

While not confirming the strikes, CIA director Leon Panetta said his agency and elite US special forces were continuing to work with the embattled Yemeni government to keep militants at bay.

At his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next defence secretary, Panetta said his officers were working together with the military's elite and ultra-secret counterterrorism unit, the Joint Special Operations Command, in Yemen “and in other areas”.

[Reprinted from .]