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USA steps up attacks on Al-Qaeda in Yemen

USA steps up attacks on Al-Qaeda in Yemen

USA forces conducted more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen overnight Wednesday into Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

The U.S. military conducted more than 20 airstrikes on Thursday in three Yemeni provinces targeting AQAP militants and equipment, officials said.

"The strikes were conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen, and were coordinated with President (Abedrabbo Mansour) Hadi".

Four suspected al Qaeda members were killed in a drone strike on a building in southern Yemen on Thursday, residents and local officials said.

The official insisted the raid was worth the risk because AQAP has a history of plotting, inspiring, and exporting terror to America and the West, and because the USA has no military presence on the ground, the Examiner reported.

According to that senior US official, intelligence gathered during the raid has provided insights into AQAP's activities, particularly the terror group's recruiting, training techniques and explosives manufacturing. It was not immediately possible to seek comment from the USA military. Critics questioned the value of an operation which killed women and children, including an eight-year-old girl, as well as several militants and a Navy SEAL.




There was no major intelligence find so far from the raid, two defense officials told BuzzFeed News, but rather information that will help the U.S. understand the group better and plan future operations.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens was killed in the intense firefight that occurred during the raid and five other American service members were wounded by enemy fire or injured in an MV-22 Osprey "hard landing", officials said.

AQAP boasts one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan Al-Asiri, and it has been a persistent concern to the United States government ever since a 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. As Trump spoke, Owens' widow, Carryn, looked up at the ceiling, seemingly to her late husband, as she sat crying.

The Trump administration has continued to insist the raid was a success that gathered valuable intelligence, in the face of reports that no actionable intelligence has been gleaned so far.

Amid the turmoil in Yemen, AQAP has evolved from being an isolated band of terrorists bent on spectacular overseas plots into a virtual mini-state in areas it controls, according to the International Crisis Group.

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