Report Us General Orders Secret Ops In Mideast

05.25.10 |

General David Petraeus issued a secret order last year to increase U.S. covert operations against terror groups and rogue states in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. "The New York Times" reports the order authorized small teams of special operations forces into unfriendly territory to gather intelligence and help local troops oppose rebels and terrorists. The report says Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Iran were some of the nations in which the secret military teams operated. In the case of Iran, the aim reportedly was to gather intelligence on that rogue nation's nuclear weapons program.

 The "Times" said the secret order does not appear to endorse any direct military action in the foreign nations, but is intended to disrupt al-Qaeda and other terror groups as well as counter threats posed by them. However, the document obtained by the newspaper said the objective of the program was to, quote, "penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy" terror groups such as al-Qaeda and lay the groundwork for possible future attacks by U.S. or local troops. Over the past few months, the Pentagon has made no secret of U.S. assistance to Yemen in its effort to root out al-Qaeda operatives in that Mideast nation.