Aden, Oct 17 (IANS) Several hideouts of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch were hit by a series of airstrikes launched by US drones in the central province of al-Bayda, a military official said.
“The American unmanned aircrafts struck training camps and arms caches of the al-Qaeda terrorist group in different mountainous villages of al-Bayda province with more than 12 airstrikes,” Xinhua quoted the local military official as saying on condition of anonymity.
According to the Yemeni official, the American airstrikes precisely hit al-Qaeda locations and killed many terrorists.
Residents in the province told Xinhua that large explosions were heard as a result of the American aerial bombardment and cars rushed to rescue the victims.
Tribal sources said that areas controlled by the militants affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group were also targeted by a number of US drone strikes.
Well-armed fighters belonging to the terrorist group were deployed and surrounded the villages where the airstrikes took place, they added.
The US air raids coincided with ongoing anti-terror military operations carried out by newly-trained Yemeni troops against Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch, known as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan.
The US military has carried out several airstrikes against AQAP fighters in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since US President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.
The Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, seen by the US as the global terror network’s most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern provinces.
Yemen’s government, allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.
The UN statistics showed that over 8,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Yemen’s conflict since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in 2015.