Public opposes US presence [Archives:2002/09/Front Page]

February 25 2002

Yemens public rejects any presence of American troops, according to an informal Yemen Times internet survey.
CNN reported last week a deployment to Yemen is imminent, in the form of not more than 100 special security force personnel.
A small number of US special forces, perhaps fewer than 100, could be dispatched to Yemen relatively soon to train their Yemeni counterparts to find terrorists, a U.S. military official said the news organization reported.
The news was followed by warnings from several Yemeni spokesmen, who condemned any idea of having US troops deployed here under any circumstances and pretexts.
Yemen had been under continuous pressure by the US to help it hunt down al-Qaeda suspects named by the FBI. Among the suspects being chased here are al-Ahdal and al-Harethi, who are still at large despite an intensive search by Yemeni security officials.
Yemen has been trying to clean up its image as a haven for Islamic militants after speculations it could be part of a second phase of the U.S. war on terrorism.
Sanaa launched a manhunt in December for suspected al Qaeda backers, in the first military operation against the group outside Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led military campaign is being conducted to flush out bin Laden and his followers.