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The flight of Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to Saudi Arabia deprives the United States of a fitful ally in the fight against al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate and injects new uncertainty into counterterrorism operations that were already hampered by the country’s bloody internal strife, according to Yemen and security experts.

While Saudi Arabia, with U.S. backing, will almost certainly prevent Saleh’s return to Yemen, it is unclear who will replace him and whether there will be a change in attitude toward American efforts to target Islamic militants in the country.


 

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