United States confirms Qaida deputy killed in drone strike
00:45, Mar 4, 2017
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USA jets and drones conducted more than 20 airstrikes against al-Qaida targets in Yemen on Thursday, roughly one month after US special operators carried out a raid in the same province that led to the death of a Navy SEAL, Pentagon officials said.
The Defense Department said the strikes were carried out in the governorates of Abyan, Al Bayda and Shabwah and targeted fighters, equipment, infrastructure, heavy weapons systems and fighting positions.
While Pentagon officials denied Yemeni reports that the USA military conducted a ground raid in conjunction with the strikes, US forces were on the ground in the same period, another possible indication of an accelerated offensive in Yemen.
The region has been used by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula as a hideout, and the strikes killed at least four militants, according to Yemeni officials in a report by The Associated Press. That is, the U.S. military is not just focused on the Islamic State anymore and has not stopped despite the ill-fated raid Donald Trump approved just days into his presidency.
"AQAP is the organization that has more American blood on its hands", Davis said. An NBC News report Monday said that US intelligence officials said the raid produced no real actionable intelligence.
Sadek al-Jaouf, a Bayada tribal leader, told The Associated Press that houses were bombed in Yakla district - the site of a USA special operations' raid two months ago in which a Navy SEAL was killed, six American soldiers were wounded and a US military aircraft suffered a hard landing and had to be destroyed.
When the raid was over, Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens had been killed, six other troops had been injured, a V-22 Osprey was destroyed and as many as 30 civilians, including nine children, had been killed.
He was also implicated in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 that killed 200 people, the CEP reveal. Davis said the number of bombs dropped in the airstrikes numbering in the "mid-20s" had been launched on Thursday, followed by several more Friday, putting the combined total at more than 30.
USA forces will continue to work with the Government of Yemen to defeat AQAP and deny it the ability to operate in Yemen. As Trump spoke, Owens' widow, Carryn, looked up at the ceiling, seemingly to her late husband, as she sat crying.
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