US Strikes in Yemen Target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Opinion
                                  Screenshot from Fox & Friends interview

Opinion Screenshot from Fox & Friends interview

Yemeni security officials told The Associated Press that USA jets and drones targeted at least six districts where the provinces of Bayda, Shabwa and Abyan meet.

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. "U.S. forces will continue to work with the Government of Yemen to defeat AQAP and deny it the ability to operate in Yemen".

The strikes were conducted in partnership with the Government of Yemen, and were coordinated with President Hadi.

Al-Qaida has seized large swaths of land in Yemen and entire cities starting in 2011 with the mass uprising that ended with the ouster of longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012.

The group has also emerged as a de facto ally of the US -backed Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his backers - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - against the Shiite rebels.

Some of these people are believed to be in the West, but not in the United States.

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The U.S. military has said that 14 AQAP fighters were killed in the raid.

In addition to Owens' death, three US troops were wounded in the attack on the AQAP compound and at least two others were injured in the hard landing of a Marine MV-22 Osprey supporting the mission.

A Marine AV-8B Harrier lands on a US Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden in January.

But there have been recent reports questioning whether any useful intelligence was gathered from the raid.

A number of civilians were also killed in the battle, something the Pentagon has acknowledged and is investigating. Owens' father, in a newspaper interview over the weekend, called for an investigation. Owens told the newspaper that he refused to meet with Trump at Dover Air Force Base in DE during the "dignified transfer" of his son's remains. Trump declared it a success in his address to Congress on Tuesday, saying that commandos captured intelligence that will allow it to conduct future missions.

To prolonged applause, Trump diverted the attention of the audience to the House gallery, where Carryn Owens was seated in the section reserved for First Lady Melania Trump. Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed in the raid, as were civilians, reportedly including an 8-year-old girl.

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