Airstrikes Target AQAP Fighting Positions
The United States of America launched multiple airstrikes targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its camps in Yemeni provinces of Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha.
The airstrikes hit extremists’ equipment, infrastructure, fighting positions and heavy weapons systems.
The military operation was conducted with the coordination of the Yemeni government.
US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement, “The strikes were conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen.”
The aim of the operation was to cripple the terror group’s ability to execute more attacks in the region.
Captain Davis said the operation aimed to degrade the terror group’s “ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting.”
ABC reports say more than 25 airstrikes were conducted Thursday and were conducted by a mix of unmanned and manned aircraft. No civilian casualties were reported from either of the two strikes, US officials said.
More Military Operations in The Future
This is not the first time the US military conducted raids and airstrikes in Yemen. A deadly January raid in Baydha left Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens dead and other service members wounded. However, the January raid obtained intelligence information for discovery of more AQAP sites. And this recent airstrike in Yemen was based on that gathered information that included intelligence reports of locations of more safe havens, explosives manufacturing, training and targets. Through the outcomes of the January raid, the US is more determined to continue the operation against the Yemen-based terror group.
Capt. Jeff Davis, the Pentagon spokesman said, “U.S. forces will continue to target AQAP militants and facilities in order to disrupt the terrorist organization’s plots, and ultimately to protect American lives.”
Captain Davis did not disclose the scope of further operations but indicated it would involve further targeting of AQAP’s main areas of operations inside Yemen especially in areas in Yemen where AQAP is most active.
AQAP in Yemen
Yemen is increasingly a source of concern for the United States and other Western countries as the mixing of civil discontent and regional actors makes it vulnerable to terror groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Shi’ite Houthi rebels, supported by Iran.
The terror group is the top threat to national security because of their continuing plans for terrorist attacks against the United States and other Western targets as well.
In addition to fighting an ongoing civil war with the secessionist Houthis, the country has become a breeding ground for AQAP.
AQAP has been behind attacks on Yemeni soil and has used the country as a launching pad for terror attacks elsewhere.