President Obama told People magazine that he has “no intention” of sending US troops to Yemen or Somalia (map) in order to combat militant groups there.
He added that the hub of al-Qaeda activity was on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The US president also said he never ruled out any possibility in a “complex” world.
However he said that “working with international partners is most effective at this point” in countries like Yemen and Somalia.
“I have no intention of sending US boots on the ground in these regions.”
The spotlight has been turned on Yemen since Christmas Day, when the Yemen-based group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said it carried out a failed bomb attack on a US-bound airliner.
Last week, Gen David Petraeus, the US commander for operations in the Middle East and central Asia, visited Yemen and said Washington planned to more than double economic aid to the country.
Adm Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently told CNN that the US was providing “some support” to Yemen’s efforts to attack militants, but insisted Sanaa led the operations.