ADEN – U.S. military planes killed dozens of fighters at an al-Qaida affiliate's training camp in a mountainous region of Yemen, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The raids came almost one year since the Saudi-led Arab coalition launched its bombing campaign against Iran-backed Shiite rebels who challenged the authority of the Yemeni government and seized much of the country. Yemeni government and tribal officials had earlier said Saudi-led airstrikes killed or wounded dozens at a training camp in Hajr, west of Hadramawt's provincial capital Mukalla. The early morning raid at a camp used by "more than 70? al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula fighters "deals a blow to AQAP's ability to use Yemen as a base for attacks that threaten U.S. persons," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. "We continue to assess the results of the operation, but our initial assessment is that dozens of AQAP fighters have been removed from the battlefield," Cook said.
ADEN – A wave of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni troops killed at least 35 people Monday in the southeastern city of Mukalla, officials said, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group. The capital of Hadramawt province, Mukalla had been under the control of al-Qaida for one year until pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city in April. But Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying in a statement that eight of its suicide bombers killed 50 members of Yemen's security forces, according to U.S.-based monitor SITE Intelligence Group. The governor of the vast province, Ahmed Saeed bin Breyk, told AFP previously that Mukalla had "witnessed five suicide attacks in four areas. Three simultaneous bombings hit security checkpoints in the coastal city at sunset, just as troops fasting during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan were breaking their fast, a security official said.
SANAA/ADEN – Suspected U.S. drone strikes have killed three alleged al-Qaida operatives in Yemen's southwestern Bayda province, security and tribal officials said, the first such killings reported in the country since Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency Friday. The two Saturday strikes killed Abu Anis al-Abi, an area field commander, and two others, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information to journalists. U.S. drone strikes against suspected al-Qaida targets have been commonplace in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, as a retaliatory measure against the group. The use of unmanned aircraft as well as airstrikes in the Arab world's poorest country rose dramatically under President Barack Obama, with data from the Britain-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism showing spikes in attacks, especially in 2012 and 2016. On Thursday, U.S. intelligence officials said as many as 117 civilians had been killed in drone and other counterterror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere during Obama's presidency.
SANAA – U.S. forces carried out more than 20 airstrikes against al-Qaida in Yemen on Thursday, killing at least seven militants in the largest operation since a ground raid a month ago that left a Navy SEAL and more than two dozen Yemenis dead. The strikes targeted al-Qaida positions, weapons systems and equipment in a remote and mountainous area in central Yemen. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the strikes were aimed at degrading the group's ability to "coordinate external terror attacks" and to limit its use of Yemen as a "safe space for terror plotting." Yemeni security officials told The Associated Press that U.S. jets and drones targeted at least six districts where the provinces of Bayda, Shabwa and Abyan meet. An official said the strikes killed seven al-Qaida militants in Shabwa and Abyan.