WASHINGTON: US forces on Thursday conducted a series of airstrikes in Yemen against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Pentagon said.
“More than 20 strikes targeted AQAP militants, equipment and infrastructure in the Yemeni governorates of Abyan, Baida and Shabwa,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.
“The strikes were conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen, and were coordinated with President (Abed Rabbo Mansour) Hadi.” The strikes come barely a month after a controversial American commando raid against the terrorists that left multiple civilians dead and killed a US Navy SEAL.
The US military did not estimate the number of militants killed in the strikes, but residents and local officials in southern Yemen said that at least nine suspected Al-Qaeda militants died in two separate incidents.
They said four men believed to belong to Al-Qaeda died in a strike on a building in Al-Saeed, an area of Shabwa province home to the Al-Awaleq, the extended clan of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a militant and US citizen killed in by US drone in 2011.
Another five suspected Al-Qaeda fighters died when a missile fired by a drone struck a vehicle carrying weapons while traveling on a road between Al-Wadie and Moujan, according to a local official.