Yemen War: Saudi Arabia led coalition backed by the US cut secret deals with Al-Qaida

800 (13)‘Unite with the devil’: Yemen war binds US, allies, al-Qaida

Source: Associated Press

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, TRISH WILSON and LEE KEATH

ATAQ, Yemen (AP) — Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

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