Wave of U.S. airstrikes target al-Qaeda in Yemen

Posted March 03, 2017

The strikes come barely a month after a botched American commando raid against the militants that left multiple civilians dead, including nine children and a US Navy SEAL.

The officials told The Associated Press that USA jets and drones have targeted the district of al-Sawmaa in the province of Bayda during the early hours in the morning.

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The United States launched dozens of drone strikes throughout Barack Obama's presidency to combat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as one of the Islamist group's most risky branches. An NBC News report Monday said that US intelligence officials said the raid produced no real actionable intelligence.

"The strikes will degrade [al-Qaida's] ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting", Davis said. A US official said the mission had been long planned and though they were not the direct result of the January raid, intelligence gathered in the raid confirmed information about the targets.

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This is in keeping with what other United States officials said just two days prior, that no "actionable" intelligence was gathered in the raid, but is in direct contradiction to claims by President Trump last night at the Congressional address, and Vice President Mike Pence today, that "significant" intelligence was obtained. According to the Pentagon, at least 14 civilians were killed in the mission along with at least 16 militants.

Owens' widow, Carryn Owens, was seated during Trump's speech next to the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump. "Ryan died as he lived - a warrior and a hero - battling against terrorism and securing our nation", he said.

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Trump, citing information from his defence secretary, told Congress on Tuesday that the raid yielded valuable intelligence that would "lead to many more victories in the future". If he's willing to tell the president that, knowing it'll be relayed to America, why not say so himself? Are Team Trump and its allies exaggerating the usefulness of the "contacts" to protect the administration or are Team Anti-Trump and its allies spreading the word that nothing was found in order to damage it by making it seem like the White House sacrificed Ryan Owens needlessly? "We will never forget him".