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Shocking revelation: American officials behind destruction of Yemen’s Anti-Air capabilities

Recently declassified Yemeni documents reveal the devastating role played by the US Department of Defense and the National Security Agency in blackmailing the former Yemeni regime to destroy its anti-air weapons.


Updated February 28th 2020, 12:17 AM UTC +1

Following the Yemeni Interior Ministry’s grand intelligence operation two weeks ago February 15th, and with the reveal of new Anti-Air capabillities by the Yemeni Army, the Yemeni Intelligence and Security Directorate explained to Saba News Agency yesterday about the role of the US Department of State in destroying Yemen’s Anti-Air capabillities.

According to recently declassified documents and video material, The US Department of State under the former Bush Administration and the Saleh regime agreed to jointly destroy and downgrade parts of Yemen’s Anti-Air missile systems. The operation was led covertly by the head of the Department of Defense’s “Office for Weapons Removal” Dennis Hadrick, together with liaison officer Santo Politizi, technical expert Nils Talbot and Department of Defense official Lori Freeman.

The operation took place over multiple years from 2004 to 2009. The DoD delegation were accompanied by the US Embassy in Sana’a and officials from the former Yemeni Ministry of Defense, pressuring and blackmailing the state apparatus to give up its missile systems with the pretext of “preventing Al-Qaeda from obtaining said weapons”, the security source told Saba.

From the Yemeni side, Ammar Muhammad Abdullah Saleh, the nephew of former Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, led the operation together with the American delegation.

The operation, although led by DoD officials, was negotiated through the US National Security Agency, as distrust between the DoD and the Yemeni Ministry of Defense had stalled over time.

The security source further told Saba News Agency how the US ordnance disposal firm “Ronco” took part in the process as well. Dubiously enough, this operation is not listed on Ronco’s website either. “Ronco” is also notorious for breaching a UN armaments embargo on Rwanda, during the genocide of 1994.

The first batch of Anti-Air missiles were destroyed in the Al-Jadaan area in Ma’rib governorate February 28th 2005. A total of 1078 9K32M missiles (Nato reporting name: Sa-7) for the Strela-2 Soviet MANPAD system were destroyed, including 82 SAM other SAM missiles of Soviet origin, and 52 missile batteries.

Department of Defense officials together with Ammar Muhammad Abdullah Saleh, overseeing the destruction of the weapons.

The second weapons destruction took place on the 27th of June 2009, at a Yemeni Military base in Halahlan Valley in Ma’rib governorate. 102 9K32M missiles (Nato reporting name: Sa-7) for the Strela-2 Soviet MANPAD system were destroyed, including a total of 30 other SAM missile variants and 51 batteries.

Picture showing the destruction of the anti-air weapons

After the operation had been concluded succesful, a total of 1263 anti-air missiles and 103 missile batteries were destroyed, including 52 Strela-2 shoulder-born missile systems. Missiles that could have closed off Yemen’s air-space today from the American-backed Saudi bomber planes.

The security source says these recent revelations all add up to America’s destabilizing role in Yemen’s domestic affairs, and is just one out of many examples to be revealed going forward.