USA raid kills 3 Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen

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30 January, 2017

An estimated 14 members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were killed during the operation.

The raid took place Saturday in an area of Yemen where Al-Qaeda has thrived since the start of the Yemeni civil war in 2015.

On Sunday, U.S. Central Command reported the first counterterror operation carried out under approval by President Trump. U.S. drones have carried out periodic attacks on al-Qaeda. "My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member".

US Central Command said in a statement that a fourth service member was injured when their aircraft made a "hard landing" in a nearby location. The offensive began by U.S. landing troops from helicopters.

AFP reported a provincial official as saying as many as 41 militants and 16 civilians were killed. That was later confirmed by a United States official. US warplanes subsequently delivered an airstike to destroy it. The aircraft dropped an unknown amount of munitions in support of the operation.

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"Abdulraoof fights the Houthis shoulder to shoulder with the pro-government forces, and he visited Marib during the last week to coordinate with the pro-government forces about the liberation of Al Bayda province from the Houthis rebels", the government source said.

USA special forces attempted to rescue an American and a South African hostage held by al Qaeda in another part of the country in December 2014.

The official said American forces did not seize any militants or take any prisoners off-site.

The U.S. has been striking al-Qaida in Yemen from the air for more than 15 years, mostly using drones, and Sunday's surprise pre-dawn raid could signal a new escalation against extremist groups in the Arab world's poorest but strategically located country.

The military also said that no civilians were killed as a result of the attack, according to CNN.


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