US Forces Kill Seven Al-Qaeda Suspects in Ground Raid in Yemen

Published May 23rd, 2017 - 09:00 GMT
Security forces ride on the back of a patrol truck escorting UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed upon his arrival at Sanaa airport on May 22, 2017. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Security forces ride on the back of a patrol truck escorting UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed upon his arrival at Sanaa airport on May 22, 2017. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

US forces have carried out a ground raid on an al-Qaeda compound in Yemen, killing seven militants, the Pentagon said late Monday.

The raid took place in Marib province in the early hours of Tuesday local Yemeni time and was conducted with the support of Yemeni government authorities.

"During this operation, US forces killed seven AQAP (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) militants through a combination of small arms fire and precision airstrikes," Centcom, the US military command in the Middle East, said in a statement.

"Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP's disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP."

The United States has increased attacks against AQAP - which has taken advantage of the chaos in the impoverished country - since President Donald Trump took office in January.

That has included an ill-fated raid against AQAP in January that left multiple civilians, including nine children, and a US Navy SEAL dead.

The raid was the first authorised by Trump, who drew criticism after he blamed "the generals" for having "lost" Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.

Earlier this month, a US civil rights group asked a court to force the US government to disclose more information about the January raid, after filing a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court.

Washington regards AQAP to be the most dangerous branch of the extremist group.


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