Confirmed: US Conducts 20 'Precision' Strikes Against al-Qaeda in Yemen

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United States forces carried out more than 20 airstrikes against al-Qaeda in Yemen on Thursday, killing at least seven gunmen in the largest operation since a ground raid a month ago that left a Navy SEAL and more than two dozen Yemenis dead.

The Associated Press, citing Yemeni officials, said the strikes concentrated on an area where the three governorates converge.

A USA official told ABC News that the airstrikes were planned prior to that SEAL mission.

The Yemen raid was planned on January 25 at a dinner meeting attended by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and key security advisers.

The Pentagon said the strikes were done in partnership with Yemen's government.

Al-Qaida has seized large swaths of land in Yemen and entire cities starting in 2011 with the mass uprising that ended with the ouster of longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012.

Inflation rate rises to 2.1% as carbon policies take hold
The rise was partly due to higher crude oil prices in January, as well as a monthly decline a year earlier, StatsCan said. The data agency cited two major added expenses for the increase: the cost of shelter and transportation.

AQAP and the Islamic State group have exploited a power vacuum created by a conflict between the government and Houthi rebels, in order to expand their presence in Yemen, especially in the south and southeast.

The group has also emerged as a de facto ally of the USA -backed Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his backers - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - against the Shiite rebels. It is believed three people affiliated with the terrorist group were killed.

One US official said Thursday's airstrikes had been planned for weeks, and were being discussed before the deadly January raid.

The attack also left several other service members wounded.

But it is still unclear how much the information advances the military's knowledge of the plans and future operations of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen, and some intelligence and congressional officials have questioned how significant the information analyzed so far really is. Hmmmm. Similarly, an official who spoke to the Daily Beast yesterday claimed "that the [Yemen] raid garnered possibly "the most intelligence ever netted" on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including information that will help US intelligence map the network of AQAP followers and how they operate".

The aftermath of the Yemen raid exists in two separate dimensions right now. A separate aircraft mishap investigation is underway on the loss of the Osprey.

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