As US-Backed War in Yemen Raged, UAE Hired US Mercenaries to Kill Yemeni Leaders

A shocking new investigation has revealed that the United Arab Emirates hired U.S. mercenaries to carry out assassinations of political and clerical leaders in Yemen. The former elite U.S. special operations fighters were paid to take part in missions to kill those deemed to be “terrorists” by the UAE. The UAE worked with the U.S. company Spear Operations Group, founded by an Israeli-American man named Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed, “There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.” The group’s first target in Yemen was a local leader of al-Islah, a political party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakel Karman. We speak with journalist Aram Roston of BuzzFeed News, who broke the story. His new piece is titled “A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War.”

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We end today’s show looking at a shocking new investigation that reveals the United Arab Emirates hired U.S. mercenaries to carry out assassinations of political and clerical leaders in Yemen. The former elite U.S. special operations fighters were paid to take part in missions to kill those deemed to be terrorists by the UAE. The UAE worked with the U.S. company Spear Operations Group, founded by an Israeli-American man named Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed “There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.” The group’s first target in Yemen was a local leader of Al-Islah, a political party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman.

AMY GOODMAN: We go now to Washington, D.C. to speak with journalist Aram Roston of BuzzFeed News who broke the story. His piece, American Mercenaries Hired to Assassinate Politicians in the Middle East. Welcome to Democracy Now!,…

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