The commander of the US forces in Hadhramaut, Michael Koenig, has on Tuesday held an urgent meeting with the governor Mabkhout bin Madi, who loyal to the Saudi-led coalition, in conjunction with developments plaguing the oil-rich province amidst an escalation of the UAE-Saudi conflict.
According to sources in Governor bin Madi’s office, the commander of US Marines stationed in Mukalla and Shihr summoned the governor for an emergency meeting to assess what they described as “the latest campaign to impose security and combat terrorism.”
The governor’s office published a statement, stating that the meeting was held with an official of the United States Civil Affairs Office in attendance.
The meeting comes on the basis of a campaign of night raids launched by the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC)’s factions in the neighbourhoods of Mukalla, which targeted journalists and activists.
It is still unclear whether the meeting was aimed at calming rising proxy tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or about overseeing a campaign that will surely to mind images of the US Marines storming civilian homes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Koenig’s talk of counterterrorism suggests that he has tried to justify and legitimise precisely such a campaign.
The United States is pushing the UAE to clash with Saudi Arabia, especially in the oil and gas areas of eastern Yemen, in order to shuffle the cards of power with Riyadh, which seeks to unilaterally acquire that province.