US Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved a $150 million funding to train and equip Yemeni Security Forces to combat al Qaeda, US defense officials said.
The funding approved is up from $67 million last year, and underscores US concerns about the growing threat of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The sum does not include covert US assistance for Yemen, which has quietly increased in recent months.
The $150 million in funding will be used to supply equipment to and training for Yemen's counterterrorism forces, said the officials, who asked not to be identified.
While US Special Operations Forces spearhead the training, US military and intelligence agencies have shared satellite and surveillance imagery, as well as intercepted communications, with Yemeni Security Forces to help them attack al Qaeda targets, officials said.