US 'should remain disengaged' in Yemen

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Media captionLippold "concerned on a strategic scale" about Yemen unrest

The commander of the USS Cole - the American warship bombed by al-Qaeda in Yemen in 2000 - tells me that right now the influence of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen could be more of a problem than al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Commander Kirk Lippold warned of Iran trying to send more weapons to the Houthis and of Iran gaining influence over the two choke points of the Middle East - at the mouth of the Red Sea and in the Straits of Hormuz.

He did, however, say that the international community risks taking its eye off the threat posed by al- Qaeda-linked extremists. His advice is for the US to remain disengaged but to provide intelligence to the Saudis to monitor the crisis.

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