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Robert Cusack

Trump extends 'aggressive airstrikes' policy to Yemen

A mock-up of a US drone strike [Wikimedia]

Date of publication: 31 March, 2017

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The US launched a second drone strike against suspected al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, while a Pentagon spokesperson announced the US was expanding its Somali engagement.

US drone strikes and naval bombardments reportedly killed a number of suspected al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in the southern Yemeni province, Abyan, on Thursday.

An undisclosed number of people were killed in at least three airstrikes in the village al-Suda, according to local sources who spoke with The New Arab.

The US missiles reportedly targeted the leaders as they drove in their vehicles, with one additional airstrike on the home of one other leader.

There have been dozens of airstrikes against alleged al-Qaeda targets in Yemen in recent weeks, focused on the provinces of Abyan, Shabwa and al-Bayda.

On Wednesday, a separate US mission killed four suspected AQAP members after two missiles hit a vehicle near Mudiyah in Abyan province.

The US has also stepped up its bombing missions in neighbouring Somalia, as a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday that it would allow "more aggressive airstrikes" against the Islamist rebel group, al-Shabaab.

Other Middle Eastern zones that have experienced increased aerial bombing by the US military include Syria and Iraq.

A US coalition airstrike in Mosul killed around 200 civilians last week, just days after a number of US missiles killed hundreds of civilians near Raqqa in northern Syria.

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