In Nearly 3 Months, US Conducts First Airstrikes in Yemen
Last week, the US military conducted a series of six air attacks in Yemen aiming at the local Al-Qaeda affiliate present there. Since 1st January, it was the first US airstrikes in Yemen when the US carried out two strikes, including the one that killed Jamal al-Badawi, an Al-Qaeda operative associated to the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.
Last week’s air assault took place in Al Bayda Governate.
The US has wanted to bar Al-Qaeda from capitalizing on the chaos of Yemen’s civil war to set up a safe retreat; however, the number of US military attacks has dropped sharply over the past few years.
Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for US Central Command, in a statement stated that in cooperation with the Yemen government, US forces continue to support continuing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Y to rattle and destroy militants’ attack-plotting endeavors, networks, and freedom of movement within the region.
The US did not provide any details about casualties from the recent strikes.
The US military conducted 131 airstrikes in Yemen in 2017 and carried out 36 strikes in 2018, nearly all of them aiming Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The CIA also conducted at least one strike in Yemen and US officials told reporters in August last year that a 2017 CIA drone attack killed Ibrahim al-Asiri, a senior al Qaeda bomb-maker behind the “underwear bomb” endeavor which he planned to detonate on a flight above the skies of Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.
The US endeavors to fight al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are distinct from US attempt to support the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the Yemen civil war.