(Security Clearance) — For the first time, the Obama administration has publicly stated that U.S. military forces are engaged in direct action against suspected terrorists in Yemen and Somalia.
In a letter to Congress on Friday, President Barack Obama informed lawmakers of U.S. military actions in the two nations that have seen significant terrorist activity and civil unrest.
On Somalia, the president stated, “In a limited number of cases, the U.S. military has taken direct action in Somalia against members of al Qaeda, including those who are also members of al-Shabaab, who are engaged in efforts to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests.”
Obama noted that U.S. forces have been working with Yemen to dismantle al Qaeda’s powerful affiliate there.
“Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) operatives and senior leaders in that country who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests,” Obama wrote.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the White House to periodically inform Congress about American military forces who are deployed overseas for possible combat.
The disclosure comes at a time when the administration is fighting off accusations that it deliberately leaked classified information about its national security efforts for political gain. Recent reports revealed the administration’s decision-making process in targeting terrorists for missile strikes, a U.S. cyber attack against an Iranian nuclear facility, and a mole inside al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who helped thwart a bomb plot intended to strike an airliner headed for the United States.