The barren waste lands of North Yemen have become the focal point of renewed United States military interest and the reason - oil.
SV: U.S. Soldiers and army instructors unloading equipment. (2 shots)
SV: U.S. troops trying out equipment with map superimposed on shot.
SV AND GV: Rocket launchers in operation across hilly terrain. (3 shots)
SV: Heavy artillery being tested. (2 shots)
GV: Mountainous country, house built on rocky hill. (2 shots)
CU AND SV: Yemen men in bazaar, chewing and carrying narcotic leaves. (KAJ) (7 shots)
GV: Rocky ravine.
SV: Capital of Yemen Sanaa, market place. (Souk) (3 shots)
CU: Man selling coffee beans. (2 shots)
SV: Crippled beggar crawling in street.
TRANSCRIPT: UTTLEY: "They are American soldiers.. army instructors in North Yemen. Their presence here is the result of a major decision by the Carter administration to defend the oil on the Arabian peninsula, oil that we need. North Yemen does not have oil, but it does stand between Saudi Arabia to the north and south Yemen, a small Marsixt state which follows Moscow's orders.
So the Americans have come to arm and train North Yemen's army. Earlier this year it was helpless when North Yemen was attacked from the south. The fighting was limited to the border area. But it was serious enough to alarm Saudi Arabia, which saw an attack on North Yemen as a threat to its own security, to its oil.
So Saudi Arabia paid for four hundred million dollars worth of American weapons, which the Carter weapons, which the Carter administration rushed to Yemen, without even consulting Congress. The reason for the urgency was oil.
The American commitment to North Yemen, is to an exotic world of its own. A mountainous country, an Arabian Shangri-La where homes are literally built on rock.
North Yemen is a nation of fierce, independent tribes, over whom the government has little control. It is said the men have two passions. One is guns and fighting, the other is Kat a slightly narcotic leaf which everyone chews, and which has become a national addiction.
North Yemen is old Arabia. This was the land of the Queen of Sheba. The capital Sanaa, is one of the oldest cities in the world. For centuries, little changed here in the Souk, the Arab marketplace. Merchants sold their fragrant spices and mocha coffee.
Beggars plied their trade.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The barren waste lands of North Yemen have become the focal point of renewed United States military interest and the reason - oil. For more than a decade, Saudi Arabia has been concerned about the possible threat to it's supplies posed by the Marsixt, pro-Moscow regime in South Yemen. Now with Saudi Arabian funding, the United States presence in the North has swelled dramatically with military instructors and equipment arriving in a steady stream. The military equipment alone is estimated to be worth four hundred million dollars. NBC's Garrick Uttley reports.