Mattis Angry Over Reports Disputing Value of Yemen Raid

During the operation, United States special operations forces killed 14 militants as well as civilians, including the eight-year-old daughter of previously assassinated al-Qaeda leader Anwar Awlaki.

The early morning strikes by USA drones and warplanes targeted areas of Shabwa, Al Bayda and Abyan - all provinces where the extremists hold significant amounts of territory.

The defense official said the Defense Department, as instructed by President Barack Obama's administration, is not required to announce strikes outside of "areas of active hostility". A US official said the mission had been long planned and though they were not the direct result of the January raid, intelligence gathered in the raid confirmed information about the targets.

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Local news media in Yemen reported that at least three people suspected of being al-Qaida members were killed in the country's southeastern province of Shabwa. It said USA naval vessels launched a wave of random shelling to provide cover for the forces to pull out. "U.S. forces will continue to work with the Government of Yemen to defeat AQAP and deny it the ability to operate in Yemen".

"US drones targeted a mountain in Mogan area which is a stronghold of Al Qaeda members". USA forces will continue to work with the Government of Yemen to defeat AQAP and deny it the ability to operate in Yemen. Multiple senior USA officials told CNN the intelligence recovered is vital and is in fact being acted upon.

Though Trump provided no specifics, a senior USA official said earlier that the intelligence included the group's explosives manufacturing, targeting, training and recruitment practices.

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Survivors and witnesses said at least 25 Yemenis were killed in the attack, including 10 children and nine women, sparking outrage in Yemen and prompting the government to ask Washington for a review of the January 29 assault.

But it is still unclear how much the information advances the military's knowledge of the plans and future operations of al Qaeda's branch in Yemen.

The United States launched dozens of drone strikes throughout Barack Obama's presidency to combat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as one of the Islamist group's most unsafe branches. As Trump spoke, Owens' widow, Carryn, looked up at the ceiling, seemingly to her late husband, as she sat crying.

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