Major Operation Against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula
Pentagon Update on Support for Operations in Yemen
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis updated the press in Washington, August 4, on U.S. operations with local partners in Yemen against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and in Somalia against al-Shabab.
In Yemen’s Shabwah Governorate yesterday, according to the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the United States, Yemeni government armed forces launched a major operation against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) with support from UAE and U.S. forces.
US Airstrikes Against AQAP in Yemen
Today, Davis said, a small number of U.S. forces “are supporting our regional counterterrorism partners in ongoing operations in Yemen against [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] to degrade the group’s ability to coordinate external terrorist operations and to use Yemen territory as a safe place for terror plotting.”
Shabwah Governorate has a heavy al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula presence, he added.
U.S. support in this part of Yemen is a continuation of what U.S. forces have been doing there since Jan. 29, when a raid by U.S. forces killed an estimated 14 al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists.
According to a U.S. Central Command news release at the time, “the raid is one in a series of aggressive moves against terrorist planners in Yemen and worldwide,” and that similar operations have produced intelligence on al-Qaida logistics, recruiting and financing efforts.
U.S. support to the Yemeni people enhances stabilization efforts in the region, he added, noting that eliminating the influence of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the region “will significantly degrade extremist activity in the area and set conditions for stabilization efforts in Yemen.”
Davis said U.S. forces continue to conduct air strikes in Yemen against terrorist targets.
“Since Feb. 28 we’ve conducted more than 80 strikes against [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] militants, infrastructure, fighting positions and equipment, and this is based upon the authorities granted in the operation that began” with the January raid, he said.
Source: US Department of Defense
Image: Yemen, destroyed house in the south of Sanaa, by Ibrahem Qasim 2015 (CC4).