Drone air strikes to dozens of suspected al Qaeda fighters have been killed during the latest string of strikes against the terror organization’s Yemen affiliate over the weekend, Yemeni official said.
On April 19, an American drone strike had taken 10 members of al Qaeda but there were three civilians killed in that incident. The civilian truck just showed up next to the car that was targeted, the official said.
The following day the committee announced three additional aerial strikes that destroyed an al- Qaeda training facility. Mohammed Albasha, a spokesperson for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed from his twitter account that there were two-dozen of militants killed without civilian casualties. There were 55 killed, most of them foreign fighters, claimed including three high value targets. The high-value targets (HVTs) known to terrorism lingo, have not been identified.
Both the CIA and President Obama made no comment with respect to anti-terrorist operations. Even the spokesperson for the Pentagon, which also conducts drone operations in Yemen, declined to address the strikes directly.
Col. Steve Warren told reporters: “I can’t speak to specific operations, but as you know we’ve got a very strong and collaborative relationship with the Yemeni Government. We work closely together with them on various initiatives in the counterterrorism realm, but I don’t have any specifics to comment on.”
The strikes happened after al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a highly-produced propaganda video showing its leader, Nasir al-Wahishi, speaking to dozens of fighters that includes high-level AQAP targets.
Under the leadership Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Southwest Asia, is the most dangerous of the al- Qaeda affiliates previously described AQAP.
Ibrahim al-Asiri as one of the members of AQAP; a bomb-maker, who makes explosive devices hidden in printer cartridges for the failed cargo bomb plot of 2010.
Awaiting statement from the Yemeni government to determine, and identities of those killed in the strikes.
“AQAP will not vanish overnight. Threats of al-Qaeda will not be deliminated with kinetic action. A holistic approach is needed.” Albasha said.