A series of coordinated U.S.-Yemeni strikes were launched against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula over the weekend, killing around 40 militants but also at least three civilians in the country’s southern and central regions.
Air strikes killed around 30 suspected al-Qaeda operatives in southern Yemen, after around 10 militants were taken out the previous day.
According to the nation’s High Security Committee, the operation focused on “terrorist elements [who] were planning to target vital civilian and military installations.” An unnamed high-level Yemeni official told CNN that the “massive and unprecedented” strike involved commandos who are now “going after high-level AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] targets.” He said the operation was launched in collaboration with the U.S., though wouldn’t confirm the use of drones in the attack. The U.S. is known to have conducted drone strikes in Yemen.
Predawn strikes targeted a mountain ridge in the southern province of Abyan, according to the official, while Yemen’s state news agency SABA said three strikes hit an al-Qaeda training camp around 450 km south of the capital Sana‘a.