WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s ability to account for the weapons and equipment the United States has sent to Yemen has been hindered by the unrest in the country, Breitbart News has confirmed.
The Guardian first reported on the Pentagon’s current inability to track the military equipment the U.S. has sold or leased to Yemen, which includes helicopters, night-vision gear, surveillance equipment, military radios, and transport aircraft.
Yemen has received over $400 million in military aid from the United States, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
“U.S. military assistance to Yemen has focused on bolstering its unmanned aerial surveillance capabilities and training its armed forces,” reported CRS.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels have taken over the U.S.-backed government in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa. Those rebels are believed to be in control of military warehouses and bases containing heavy military equipment provided by the United States and other heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery, reported The Guardian.
“Recent events in Yemen have limited our ability to conduct routine end-use monitoring checks and inspections we would normally perform,” said a Defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We continue to monitor the situation in Yemen closely and, as the security environment permits, we will continue working with the Government of Yemen to ensure equipment granted or sold to the Government of Yemen by the United States remains accounted for,” added the official.
The U.S. military official did not specifically say which military equipment the Pentagon lost track of.
The Pentagon, in response to the Houthis taking over Sanaa, said on January 24 that it would cut back on training Yemen’s military.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, on January 27 indicated that the U.S. military would be open to dialogue with the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“It is a fact and it has to be assumed that the Houthis will have reason to and will want to have discussions with the international community about the way forward,” said Kirby. “The US government is participating in those discussions.”
Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is expected to benefit from the Houthi takeover of the Yemeni government.