First Published: 2017-03-03

US fighter jets strike Qaeda targets for second day
Yemeni officials say at least 12 suspected militants killed in more than 20 US strikes on Al-Qaeda positions in Shabwa, Abyan, Baida provinces.
Middle East Online

Successive US administrations have kept up a drone war against Al-Qaeda in Yemen since soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks

US fighter jets pounded Al-Qaeda targets in Yemen for a second straight day on Friday, security and tribal sources said, as Washington steps up its air war against the jihadists.

The Pentagon said it had carried out more than 20 strikes on Thursday targeting Al-Qaeda positions in the southern provinces of Shabwa and Abyan and the central province of Baida.

Yemeni officials said at least 12 suspected militants were killed in those strikes, which came barely one month after a botched US commando raid against the group left multiple civilians and a Navy SEAL dead.

In Friday's strikes, US warplanes hit three houses in the Yashbam Valley before dawn, one of them the home of Al-Qaeda's Shabwa province commander, Saad Atef, the tribal sources said.

The valley is a jihadist stronghold and was one of the targets of Thursday's strikes.

Jihadists retaliated with anti-aircraft fire, security officials and tribal sources said.

Tribal sources said that there were casualties and that they included women and children.

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

US President Donald Trump faced broad criticism at home after he authorised the January 29 commando raid during which Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed and multiple civilians perished.

As many as eight women and eight children were killed, a Baida provincial official said, drawing condemnation of the raid from human rights groups.

Al-Qaeda has exploited a power vacuum created by two years of war between Yemen's government and Shiite rebels who control the capital to consolidate its presence, particularly in the south and east.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Al-Qaeda had taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct, and inspire terror attacks against America and its allies.

He said Thursday's strikes targeted Al-Qaeda militants, equipment and infrastructure. Another US official said they had involved both fighter jets and drones.

Successive US administrations have kept up a drone war against Al-Qaeda in Yemen since soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Washington regards the Yemen branch as the jihadists' most dangerous and holds it responsible for several plots to carry out attacks in the West.

 

Libya jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

Images emerge of Manchester bomber as runners defy threat

Iran leader launches fierce attack on ‘milking cow’ Saudis

Jordan gearing up for another Ramadan with refugees

Syria girls escape war with Snow White

Egypt’s left-wing parties start searching for Sisi competitor

US urged to keep track of its Iraq arms supply

Qatar risks US sanctions over support for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

US-Turkish relations go from bad to worse

Egypt hits jihadists as IS claims deadly attack on Christians

Britain arrests two more in Manchester attack probe

Turkey charges opposition newspaper staff

Death toll in Tripoli clashes reaches 52

Hundreds of migrants rescued in major operation off Libya

Palestinians end mass hunger strike in Israel jails

Egypt Christians bury victims with tears, anger

Ramadan in Libya: little cash, much violence

UN braces for up to 200,000 Iraqis to flee Mosul

Iraq forces launch broad attack on IS holdouts in Mosul

Civilians flee IS-held Syria cities after deadly strikes

At least 28 dead in Tripoli clashes

UN says nations bombing IS must protect civilians

26 killed in attack on Egypt Christians

Turkey identifies 'intelligence weaknesses' before coup attempt

Tunisia opens trial over 2015 beach massacre

Syria army takes control of key road

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria

Probe finds over 100 Mosul civilians killed in US air strike

Palestinian president says US should mediate hunger strike

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

EU leaders, Erdogan meet in bid to ease tensions

Myanmar to deport Turkish family wanted for alleged coup links

Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Trump gets rough ride in EU, NATO meeting

Saudi minister confident on oil output deal

Egyptians brace for austere Ramadan

Qatari FM says country victim of smear campaign, particularly in US

Britain probes jihadist network amid row with US intelligence

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester