USA carries out strikes in Yemen targeting al Qaeda


- As part of a sustained assault on the extremist group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. warplanes have launched more than 30 airstrikes in Yemen the past two days, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

In a statement, Davis said more than 20 strikes targeted militants, equipment and infrastructure in the Yemeni governorates of Abyan, Al Bayda and Shabwah.

The strikes were conducted in partnership with the Yemeni government, Davis said.

Air Forces of the US-led coalition struck Syria's northwestern Idlib Governorate earlier this week, targeting a prominent militant leader and deputy chief of the al-Qaeda splinter group of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

The aftermath of the Yemen raid exists in two separate dimensions right now.

Some twenty United States airstrikes rained down on al-Qaeda targets in Yemen on Tuesday, the Pentagon said, adding that the strikes were coordinated with Yemen's president.

Two US defense officials told BuzzFeed News that the strikes had been planned months before the January 29 raid and that it did not appear that intelligence gleaned from last month's raid was part of the overnight strikes. For months, the USA military has been eager to secure approval for steps that would restore an on-the-ground intelligence and a counterterrorism program that was largely shut down amid mounting instability in 2015.

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The official declined to say how long that temporary authority would last.

The AQAP and Islamic State-linked terrorists took advantage of the security vacuum and ongoing civil war to expand their influence and seize more territories in southern Yemen.

One resident said it had been a "terrifying night".

The latest airstrikes did not come as a result of intelligence gathered during the January raid, Davis said.

A number of civilians were among the wounded, they added.

He also called the recent mission a "total fiasco" and a "disaster", noting that the death toll of innocent civilians in Yemen just goes without mention in U.S. media.

The senior official said the fierce fight put up by militants inside the compound in Yemen testified to the value of the material they held.