Tribal rivalries in Yemen are complicating efforts to reach a power transfer deal, senior U.S. officials told Reuters on Saturday. United States believes that al Qaeda is trying to develop instability in Yemen.
The U.S. is in constant touch with European and Gulf allies and continues to increase pressure on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, official said.
The latest violence was the bloodiest since January that was sparked by Saleh’s refusal to sign a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal.
The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda benefited the confusion that elevated due to fighting and threaten neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter.
U.S. is concerned about the Yemen’s disturbed situation that is bringing longstanding tribal rivalries to the top, which is complicating the process of reaching an agreement on an orderly transfer of power, one senior official told Reuters. Both tribal and the extremist group are trying to exploit the current instability in order to advance their own insular interests, official added.
Washington also has serious doubts about the wealthy and powerful Ahmar tribe after U.S. support for Saleh has eroded, the official said.
The United States has signaled Saleh that he must give up the power by warning it may review its help. But experts say that U.S. influence would reduce further in a country which is very critical to American counter-terrorism efforts.
President Barack Obama has still faced disapproval for not acting more vigorously against Saleh, a longtime U.S. ally.
Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda, already topping U.S. security worries, is expected to step beyond into the focus after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.