The American President Barack Obama admitted on Friday that US troops are directly involved in the war against al-Qaeda-linked groups in Yemen and Somalia.
In a letter to the Congress, Obama said limited US troops had engaged in the battles against Ansar al-Sharia, al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, and Shabab al-Islam, the terror network offshoot in Somalia, which has reportedly sent 300 gunmen to fight alongside the Yemeni branch in the battles against the government.
He argued that the US troops took part in the fighting against the militant groups because they pose a serious threat to the US national security.
Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch has reportedly plotted to bring down two US-bound airliners. Both attempts were thwarted.
US media outlets reported on Wednesday that some US troops are helping the Yemeni army in the battles against al-Qaeda as they provide the army with information and planning. The troops are operating from Al-Anad military base, according to the media outlets.
In a statement the Pentagon press secretary George Little said, "we are focused on those al-Qaeda members and affiliates who pose a direct threat to the United States and to our national interests…Going forward, the American people should know that we will do what is necessary to defend our country against those who would threaten us.”