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The New Arab

US carries out first airstrikes in Yemen since January

The US is known to carry out drone strikes in Yemen [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 2 April, 2019

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The US military carried out six airstrikes in Yemen last week, targeting the local al Qaeda affiliate in the al-Bayda governorate.
Six US airstrikes targeting alleged al-Qaeda affiliates were carried out in Yemen in the last week, the first US military move in the war-torn country in more than three months.

The strikes took place in the al-Bayda governorate over the past seven days, the US military said in a statement.

"In coordination with the government of Yemen, US forces continue to support ongoing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Y to disrupt and destroy militants' attack-plotting efforts, networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region," Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement.

Authorities have not released information on the casualties from the raids.

In January, a US strike in central Yemen killed an al-Qaeda commander considered to be one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing in 2000.

Jamal al-Badawi was inside a vehicle that was targeted by a drone aircraft in Marib province in central Yemen, local sources confirmed to The New Arab. 

The US military is the only force known to operate armed drones over Yemen and considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be the radical group's most dangerous branch.

Drone attacks against AQAP intensified after US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

AQAP has flourished in the chaos of the impoverished country's civil war, which pits the Saudi-backed government against Houthi rebels.

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