A massive unprecedented attack on al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula has taken place and leaving at least 30 militants killed. The operation took place with Yemeni special forces and suspected U.S. drone attacks. The targets included "foreign nationals", but no other details were given. A high level Yemeni official said it would take time to clarify the details of the weekend operation-whether the operation targeted training camps, vehicles or both.
A drone strike on Saturday killed suspected al Qaeda militants but inadvertently killed three civilian day workers according to a Yemeni official. The strike targeted a truck carrying suspected militants heading back from a training camp. The targets of the drone strike had been monitored closely for sometime according to a Yemeni official.
According to the New America Foundation, a U.S. based think tank, the United States first used armed drones against a al Qaeda operative in 2002 and resumed the strikes in 2009 against al Qaeda figures. The drone strikes killed between 700-1000 people including at least 83 civilians according to the foundation.
New questions have been asked after a video surfaced on Wednesday showing what looks to be a large and dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in Yemen. Did the U.S. even know the meeting was taken place? U.S. officials are not commenting but the entire video is being analyzed by the U.S. intelligence community.
Analysts say that drone strikes alone will not stamp out al Qaeda in Yemen and the threat against the United States is still very real.