Britain’s Seven Covert Wars


Britain’s Seven Covert Wars

by Mark Curtis

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars. To cover themselves, Ministers are now often resorting to lying about what they are authorising. While Britain has identified Islamic State (among others) as the enemy abroad, it is clear that it sees the British public and parliament as the enemy at home.

Syria

Britain began training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012. This was also when the SAS was reported to be ‘slipping into Syria on missions’ against Islamic State. Now, British special forces are ‘mountinghit and run raids against IS deep inside eastern Syria dressed as insurgent fighters’ and ‘frequently cross into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army’ from their base in Jordan. British special forces also provide training, weapons and other equipment to the New Syrian Army.

British aircraft began covert strikes against IS targets in Syria in 2015, months before Parliament voted in favour of overt action in December 2015. These strikes were conducted by British pilots embedded with US and Canadian forces.

Britain has also been operating a secret drone warfare programme in Syria. Last year Reaper drones killed British IS fighters in Syria, again before parliament approved military action. As I have previously argued, British covert action and support of the Syrian rebels is, along with horrific Syrian government/Russian violence, helping to prolong a terrible conflict.

Iraq

Hundreds of British troops are officially in Iraq to train local security forces. But they are also engaged in covert combat operations against IS. One recent report suggests that Britain has more than 200 special force soldiers in the country, operating out of a fortified base within a Kurdish Peshmerga camp south of Mosul.

British Reaper drones were first deployed over Iraq in 2014 and are now flown remotely by satellite from an RAF base in Lincolnshire. Britain has conducted over 200 drones strikes in Iraq since November 2014.

Libya

SAS forces have been secretly deployed to Libya since the beginning of this year, working with Jordanian special forces embedded in the British contingent. This follows a mission by MI6 and the RAF in January to gather intelligence on IS and draw up potential targets for air strikes. British commandos are now reportedly fighting and directing assaults on Libyan frontlines and running intelligence, surveillance and logistical support operations from a base in the western city of Misrata. <= ***which involves of AlQaeda, Isis and other Radical groups.

But a team of 15 British forces are also reported to be based in a French-led multinational military operations centre in Benghazi, eastern Libya, supporting renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. In July 2016, Middle East Eye reported that this British involvement was helping to coordinate air strikes in support of Haftar, whose forces are opposed to the Tripoli-based government that Britain is supposed to be supporting.

Yemen

The government says it has no military personnel based in Yemen. Yet a report by Vice News in April, based on numerous interviews with officials, revealed that British special forces in Yemen, who were seconded to MI6, were training Yemeni troops fighting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also had forces infiltrated in AQAP. The same report also found that British military personnel were helping with drone strikes against AQAP. Britain was playing ‘a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program’. In addition, the UK spybase at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire facilitates US drone strikes in Yemen.

Britain has been widely reported (outside the mainstream media) as supporting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, most of them due to Saudi air strikes. Indeed, Britain is party to the war. The government says there are around 100 UK military personnel based in Saudi Arabia including a ‘small number’ at ‘Saudi MOD and Operational Centres’. One such Centre, in Riyadh, coordinates the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen and includes British military personnel who are in the command room as air strikes are carried out and who have access to the bombing targets.

The UK is of course arming the Saudi campaign: The British government disclosed on 13 October that the Saudis have used five types of British bombs and missiles in Yemen. On the same day, it lied to Parliament that Britain was ‘not a party’ to the war in Yemen.

A secretmemorandum of understanding’ that Britain signed with Saudi Arabia in 2014 has not been made public since it ‘would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship’ with the Kingdom, the government states. It is likely that this pact includes reference to the secret British training of Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia, which has taken place since mid-2015. Operating from a desert base in the north of the country, British forces have been teaching Syrian forces infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the public was told that British forces withdrew at the end of 2014. However, British forces stayed behind to help create and train an Afghan special forces unit. Despite officially only having ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan, in August 2015 it was reported that British covert forces were fighting IS and Taliban fighters. The SAS and SBS, along with US special forces, were ‘taking part in military operations almost every night’ as the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul.

In 2014, the government stated that it had ended its drone air strikes programme in Afghanistan, which had begun in 2008 and covered much of the country. Yet last year it was reported that British special forces were calling in air strikes using US drones.

Pakistan and Somalia

Pakistan and Somalia are two other countries where Britain is conducting covert wars. Menwith Hill facilitates US drone strikes against jihadists in both countries, with Britain’s GCHQ providinglocational intelligence’ to US forces for use in these attacks.

The government has said that it has 27 military personnel in Somalia who are developing the national army and supporting the African Union Mission. Yet in 2012 it was reported that the SAS was covertly fighting against al-Shabab Islamist terrorists in Somalia, working with Kenyan forces in order to target leaders. This involved up to 60 SAS soldiers, close to a full squadron, including Forward Air Controllers who called in air strikes against al-Shabab targets by the Kenyan air force. In early 2016, it was further reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose troops operate with UK special forces, was saying that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go ‘over the border’ to attack al-Shabaab.

Drones

The RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of 10 Reaper drones, has been in permanent operation in Afghanistan since October 2007, but covertly began operating outside Afghanistan in 2014. The NGO Reprieve notes that Britain provides communications networks to the CIA ‘without which the US would not be able to operate this programme’. It says that this is a particular matter of concern as the US covert drone programme is illegal.

The Gulf

Even this may not be the sum total of British covert operations in the region. The government stated in 2015 that it had 177 military personnel embedded in other countries’ forces, with 30 personnel working with the US military. It is possible that these forces are also engaged in combat in the region. For example, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has said that in the Gulf, British pilots fly US F18s from the decks of US aircraft carriers. This means that ‘US’ air strikes might well be carried out by British pilots.

Britain has many other military and intelligence assets in the region. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the US.

The state of Qatar houses the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid airbase. The government says it has seven military personnel ‘permanently assigned to Qatar’ and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ working at the airbase. These are likely to be covert forces; the government says that ‘we do not discuss specific numbers for reasons of safeguarding operational security’.

Similarly, the government says it has six military personnel ‘permanently assigned’ to the United Arab Emirates and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ at the UAE’s Al Minhad airbase. Britain also has military assets at Manama harbour, Bahrain, whose repressive armed forces are also being secretly trained by British commandos.

Kenya and Turkey

Kenya hosts Britain’s Kahawa Garrishon barracks and Laikipia Air Base, from where thousands of troops who carry out military exercises in Kenya’s harsh terrain can be deployed on active operations in the Middle East. Turkey has also offered a base for British military training. In 2015, for example, Britain deployed several military trainers to Turkey as part of the US-led training programme in Syria, providing small arms, infantry tactics and medical training to rebel forces.

The web of deceit

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament in July that the government is ‘committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter’. This is plainly not true, as the extent of British covert operations show.

Similarly, it was first reported in May that British troops were secretly engaged in combat in Libya. This news came two days after Fallon told MPs that Britain was not planning ‘any kind of combat role’ to fight IS in Libya.

There are many other examples of this straightforward web of deceit. In July 2016, the government issued six separate corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes in Yemen. However, little noticed was that these corrections also claimed that ‘the UK is not a party’ to the conflict in Yemen. This claim is defied by various news reports in the public domain.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging.

Advertisements

The TRUTH about Benghazi, Amb Stevens and the Clinton-Obama TEAM


The TRUTH about Benghazi, Amb Stevens and the Clinton-Obama TEAM

benghazi02

The TRUTH about Benghazi, Ambassador Stevens and the Clinton Obama TEAM as revealed by Wikileaks

From Wikileaks…..
So here’s the REAL story.
Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission.
Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi.
Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military.
It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn’t arm the missile and the Chinook didn’t explode, but had to land anyway.

An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA.

imagesv2lc54wg
Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the stingers.

This was a “do-or-die” mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams.
It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn’t supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft.

Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK’d the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video.

obandhc

Obama and Hillary committed treason…and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not.
Further…the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals.

Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn…everyone KNEW he was a traitor.

bb
So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised…and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS.

Only the Dems, with their hands out, palms up, will support her.

Perhaps this is why no military aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had stingers.

 

Hillary Clinton Supplied Cash, Weapons, Tanks, Training to Al-Qaeda to Kill Gaddafi & Weaponize “ISIS” in Syria


Hillary Clinton Supplied Cash, Weapons, Tanks, Training to Al-Qaeda to Kill Gaddafi & Weaponize “ISIS” in Syria

clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created a secret military alliance between the United States and Al-Qaeda generals to assassinate Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and distribute weapons to terror factions in Libya and ultimately “ISIS” fighters in Syria.

True Pundit has documented this expose with interviews from intelligence assets, Hillary Clinton’s personal emails, Wikileaks emails, secret Pentagon intelligence audio recordings and previously classified cables from the Defense Intelligence Agency. The intelligence garnered from these sources depict devastating overt and covert revelations of how the United States, under Clinton’s Dept. of State, secretly colluded with terrorist organizations and its leaders to implement America’s foreign policy, including:

  • Clinton directly aligned and forged a State Dept. partnership with Al-Qaeda and its extremist fanatics to overthrow, assassinate Gaddafi.
  • Clinton directly armed and commissioned known terrorists and publicly sworn U.S. foes with weapons in Libya, a secret reversal of U.S. policy and direct violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973, which called for a complete arms embargo on Libya.
  • Clinton and President Barack Obama together financed Al-Qaeda to overthrow Libyan government and stockpile weapons, including tanks and heavy artillery, which were ultimately shipped from Libya to “ISIS” factions in Syria and elsewhere.
  • Clinton struck a deal with known senior military officials in Al-Qaeda to implement her U.S. foreign policy master plan in Libya, including shipping weapons to the surrounding region.
  • According to intelligence sources, many of the weapons supplied to Al-Qaeda factions were believed to have be used against Americans in the Sept. 11 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs. Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador killed in an attack since Adolph Dubs was killed in 1979.
  • Libyan officials were deeply worried that weapons were being funneled to U.S.-backed rebels with ties to Al-Qaeda via Clinton’s State Dept., which they feared would ultimately create a vacuum and thereby a safe harbor for well-armed terrorists.
  • Libyan officials cut off diplomatic talks with Clinton’s State Department and instead, worked with the Pentagon to avoid Clinton. Incredibly, the Pentagon initiated the diplomatic end-run around Clinton because uniformed top brass, along with the Libyans, no longer trusted her.
  • A March 2011 email, sent to Clinton’s private email server from intelligence consultant and long-time confidant Sidney Blumenthal, details a list of U.S.-commissioned weapons supplied to Libyan “rebels.” Blumenthal’s email details egregious political and legally questionable abuses stemming from Clinton’s U.S. foreign policy in Libya.

But, as Blumenthal mentions, the United States didn’t act alone. Using the public guise of humanitarian intervention in Libya to prevent a faux massacre by the Gaddafi regime, Britain, France and Egypt acted with the U.S. to train and arm Al-Qaeda to assassinate Gaddafi and stockpile weapons to eventually ship to Syrian. Also, the United Nations and several key NATO countries, including the U.S., also assisted this rebel regime with air strikes. Gaddafi was eventually assassinated on Oct. 20, 2011 at the hands of the Libyan rebels, less than six months after Blumenthal’s email.

Blumenthal’s gem-packed intelligence briefing highlights a list of weapons commissioned by the U.S. that the Libyan “rebels” had stockpiled in Benghazi for the plot against Gaddafi.

These knowledgeable sources add that the insurgents have the following weapons stockpiled in Benghazi:

  • 82 and 120 mm. mortars;
  • GPZ type machine guns;
  • 12.7mm. machine guns mounted on 4×4 vehicles;
  • some anti-aircraft batteries type ZSU 23/2 and 23/4 as well as Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS) type SAM7;
  • some tanks type T-72;
  • Possibly some fixed wing aircraft, and some light transport/medium helicopters.
  • A seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition (even for systems ZSU 23/4 and 23/2).

Blumental likewise details that French, British and Egyptian Special Forces troops were training the rebels inside of western Egypt and in the western suburbs of Benghazi. He likewise acknowledges that the foreign “troops are overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels,” a direct violation of international law and UN resolutions.

Blumenthal’s information was corroborated by Pentagon intelligence. In a secret 2011 intelligence correspondence phone recording, a Pentagon asset assigned to Libya tells a Gaddafi regime insider in Tripoli that Clinton and her State Department planned to further weaponize Libyan rebels, and ultimately Al-Qaeda, with millions of funds and assets frozen from Gadaffi.

Continue reading

See below.

 

Read the full, now Unclassified email, below:

benghazi

Gen. Mike Flynn: Why Hillary’s record on Libya is even worse than you think


Gen. Mike Flynn: Why Hillary’s record on Libya is even worse than you think

By Michael Flynn

A failed state, a terrorist haven, four dead Americans – this is the Hillary Clinton record in Libya we know about.

But new evidence — and a review of the public record — reveals that Hillary Clinton’s actions in Libya were not just disastrous policy, but a violation of U.S. anti-terrorism law.

A recent report to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons concluded that Western intervention in Libya was based on “inaccurate intelligence” and “erroneous assumptions.” Advocates failed to recognize that “the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element,” and the failure to plan for a post-Qaddafi Libya led to the “growth of ISIL” in North Africa.

However, “inaccurate intelligence” doesn’t fully describe the whole story. A closer examination of the run-up to the Libya debacle on September 11, 2012 leads to the irrefutable conclusion that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly armed radical Islamist terrorists in Libya.

False pretenses

The American public was told that the intervention in Libya was necessary to prevent a humanitarian crisis. But just as Hillary Clinton would describe the attack on our Benghazi diplomats as a spontaneous protest over a video, the military intervention that led inexorably to the debacle in Benghazi was sold on false pretenses: to prevent an imminent massacre of civilians engaged in a pro-democracy uprising.

Hillary Clinton described the 2011 Arab Spring rebellion in eastern Libya as a spontaneous pro-democracy uprising, but the Libyan connection to radical Islamic extremist groups was well known long before 2011.

The region where the rebellion began was a fervid recruiting ground for jihadis who killed American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The leaders of the “civilian uprising” that Hillary Clinton supported were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who had pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. They refused to take orders from non-Islamist commanders and assassinated the then leader of the rebel army, Abdel Fattah Younes.

The LIFG had been jailed under Qaddafi until hundreds of their members were released through a de-radicalization program. That program was spearheaded by an exiled Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Libyan cleric based in Qatar named Ali al-Sallabi. The jihadis pledged they would never use violence against Gaddafi again.

But nearly as soon as the LIFG was released they took up arms against the Qaddafi regime.

Just as there was ample evidence that Hillary’s “pro-democracy protestors” were radical Islamists, there was no truth to the assertion a civilian massacre was imminent.

Libyan doctors told United Nations investigators that, of the more than 200 corpses in Tripoli’s morgues following fighting in late February 2011, only two were female. This indicates Qaddafi’s forces targeted male combatants and did not indiscriminately attack civilians. Nor had Qaddafi forces attacked civilians after retaking towns from the rebels in early February 2011.

While Muammar Qaddafi had a 40-year record of appalling human rights violations, his abuses did not include large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians. We restored full diplomatic relations with Qaddafi in 2007 and he was a key partner in counter-terrorism efforts.

LIFG and affiliated jihadis received at least 18 shipments of arms from Qatar with the blessing of the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports. The arms shipments were funneled through none other than Ali al-Sallabi, the Qatar cleric who brokered their release from prison.

The Islamists were able to pay for the weapons because Clinton had convinced Obama to grant full diplomatic recognition to the rebels, against the advice of State Department lawyers and the Secretary of Defense.

As the Washington Post reported, this move “allowed the Libyans access to billions of dollars from Qaddafi’s frozen accounts.”

These arms shipments are significant for several reasons. It led to the indictment of American arms dealer Marc Turi who was charged with selling weapons to Islamist militants in Libya through Qatar. The charges were dropped this week after Turi threatened to reveal emails showing Clinton had approved the sales.

Here’s where it gets very sticky for Secretary Clinton. The rebel leaders were on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. It is a direct violation of the law to provide material support for terrorist organizations under 18 U.S. Code 2339A & 2339B. Penalties for providing or attempting to provide material support to terrorism include imprisonment from 15 years to life.

Nor is the Qatar connection insignificant. Qatar has donated anywhere from $1 to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, and emails reveal members of the Qatari royal family were privileged with back channel meetings with Secretary Clinton at the State Department. While whipping up support for the Libya military campaign, Clinton told Arab leaders, “it’s important to me personally,” the Washington Post reported.

Hillary Clinton’s prosecution of foreign policy in Libya crossed several lines: she showed extremely bad judgment by ignoring military and intelligence officials, she let personal interests conflict with U.S. foreign policy and, most importantly, she may have broken the law — again.

Any one of these transgressions should disqualify her from holding any kind of leadership role in our government, let alone president of the United States. The last one qualifies Hillary Clinton for government housing, though not in the White House.

Pentagon Mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?


Pentagon Mercenaries:
Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?

By Finian Cunningham

CIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making.
Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there. In the occasional Western report on Al-Qaeda and related terror groups in Yemen, it is usually in the context of intermittent drone strikes carried out by the US, or with the narrative that these militants are “taking advantage” of the chaos “to expand” their presence in the Arabian Peninsula, as reported here by the Washington Post.

This bifurcated Western media view of Yemen belies a more accurate and meaningful perspective, which is that the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign is actually coordinated with an on-the-ground military force that comprises regular troops, private security firms and Al-Qaeda type mercenaries redeployed from Syria.

There can be little doubt in Syria – despite Western denials – that the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)) jihadists and related Al-Qaeda brigades in Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fateh, Ahrar ash-Sham and so on, have been infiltrated, weaponized and deployed for the objective of regime-change by the US and its allies. If that is true for Syria, then it is also true for Yemen. Indeed, the covert connection becomes even more apparent in Yemen.

Last November, the New York Times confirmed what many Yemeni sources had long been saying. That the US-backed Saudi military coalition trying to defeat a popular uprising was relying on mercenaries supplied by private security firms tightly associated with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The mercenaries were recruited by companies linked to Erik Prince, the former US Special Forces commando-turned businessman, who set up Blackwater Worldwide. The latter and its re-branded incarnations, Xe Services and Academi, remain a top private security contractor for the Pentagon, despite employees being convicted for massacring civilians while on duty in Iraq in 2007. In 2010, for example, the Obama administration awarded the contractor more than $200 million in security and CIA work.

Erik Prince, who is based primarily in Virginia where he runs other military training centers, set up a mercenary hub in the United Arab Emirates five years ago with full support from the royal rulers of the oil-rich state. The UAE Company took the name Reflex Responses or R2. The NY Times reported that some 400 mercenaries were dispatched from the Emirates’ training camps to take up assignment in Yemen. Hundreds more are being trained up back in the UAE for the same deployment.

This is just one stream of several “soldiers of fortune” going into Yemen to fight against the uprising led by Houthi rebels, who are in alliance with remnants of the national army. That insurgency succeeded in kicking out the US and Saudi-backed president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in early 2015. Hadi has been described as a foreign puppet, who presided over a corrupt regime of cronyism and vicious repression.

Since last March, the Saudis and other Persian Gulf Arab states have been bombing Yemen on a daily basis in order to overthrow the Houthi-led rebellion and reinstall the exiled Hadi.

Washington and Britain have supplied warplanes and missiles, as well as logistics, in the Saudi-led campaign, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. The involvement of Blackwater-type mercenaries – closely associated with the Pentagon – can also be seen as another form of American contribution to the Saudi-led campaign.

The mercenaries sent from the UAE to Yemen are fighting alongside other mercenaries that the Saudis have reportedly enlisted from Sudan, Eritrea and Morocco. Most are former soldiers, who are paid up to $1,000 a week while serving in Yemen. Many of the Blackwater-connected fighters from the UAE are recruited from Latin America: El Salvador, Panama and primarily Colombia, which is considered to have good experience in counter-insurgency combat.

Also among the mercenaries are American, British, French and Australian nationals. They are reportedly deployed in formations along with regular troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

In recent months, the Houthi rebels (also known as Ansarullah) and their allies from the Yemeni army – who formed a united front called the Popular Committees – have inflicted heavy casualties on the US-Saudi coalition. Hundreds of troops have been reportedly killed in gun battles in the Yemeni provinces of Marib, in the east, and Taiz, to the west. The rebels’ use of Tochka ballistic missiles has had particularly devastating results.

So much so that it is reported that the Blackwater-affiliated mercenaries have “abandoned the Taiz front” after suffering heavy casualties over the last two months. “Most of the Blackwater operatives killed in Yemen were believed to be from Colombia and Argentina; however, there were also casualties from the United States, Australia and France,” Masdar News reports.

Into this murky mix are added extremist Sunni militants who have been dispatched to Yemen from Syria. They can be said to be closely related, if not fully integrated, with Al-Qaeda or IS in that they profess allegiance to a “caliphate” based on a fundamentalist Wahhabi, or Takfiri, ideology.

These militants began arriving in Yemen in large numbers within weeks of Russia’s military intervention in Syria beginning at the end of September, according to Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman. Russian air power immediately began inflicting severe losses on the extremists there. Senior Yemeni military sources said that hundreds of IS-affiliated fighters were flown into Yemen’s southern port city of Aden onboard commercial aircraft belonging to Turkey, Qatar and the UAE.

Soon after the militants arrived, Aden residents said the city had descended into a reign of terror. The integrated relationship with the US-Saudi coalition can be deduced from the fact that Aden has served as a key forwarding military base for the coalition. Indeed, it was claimed by Yemen military sources that the newly arrived Takfiri militants were thence dispatched to the front lines in Taiz and Marib, where the Pentagon-affiliated mercenaries and Saudi troops were also assigned.

It is true that the Pentagon at times wages war on Al-Qaeda-related terrorists. The US airstrike in Libya on Friday, which killed some 40 IS operatives at an alleged training camp, is being trumpeted by Washington as a major blow against terrorism. And in Yemen since 2011, the CIA and Pentagon have killed many Al-Qaeda cadres in drone strikes, with the group’s leader being reportedly assassinated last June in a US operation.

Nevertheless, as the broader US-Saudi campaign in Yemen illustrates, the outsourcing of military services to private mercenaries in conjunction with terrorist militia is evidently an arm of covert force for Washington.

This is consistent with how the same groups have been deployed in Syria for the purpose of regime change there.

The blurring of lines between regular military, private security contractors with plush offices in Virginia and Abu Dhabi, and out-and-out terror groups is also appropriate. Given the nature of the illegal wars being waged, it all boils down to state-sponsored terrorism in the end.