What the world is learning about US drone strikes abroad
A drone strike has killed two suspected militants in Yemen, and the US military says it has targeted several more in the country.
The US military said in a statement Tuesday that it had struck two “high value” targets in Taiz and al-Mansoura provinces on Sunday.
It also said it had carried out several strikes in other provinces in the past few days.
A US military official confirmed that two suspected militant leaders had been killed in the drone strike in Taiseen, near the Saudi border, but did not provide further details.
A statement issued by the US Central Command, the military arm of the U.S. military, said it was the result of a strike in which two militants “in a vehicle carrying weapons were killed by a US drone strike.”
A military official told the Associated Press that one of the militants was a suspected commander of the al-Qaida affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The official did not say which group carried out the attack.
“The US conducted a precision strike on two high value targets in Yemen on Saturday, killing a suspected leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Anas al-Libi,” the official said.
“We will continue to take additional action to disrupt AQAP’s leadership and support infrastructure.”
AQAP, which also refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Yemen, is al-Sisi’s archrival and the dominant force in the impoverished country.
It has been linked to several deadly attacks across the region, including the deadly bombing of a military base in 2014 that killed dozens of soldiers.
“AQAP’s activities pose a significant threat to regional security, stability, and economic development,” the statement said.
US drone raids and drone strikes by other countries The Pentagon said Tuesday that the strikes in Taizeen and al+Mansoush provinces killed at least eight “high-value” militants.
US Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan told the House Armed Services Committee that the CIA is conducting a review of drone strikes in Yemen and that the agency is “confident that we are continuing to strike high value terrorists and others that pose a continuing and imminent threat to our homeland.”
The White House said it is “committed to working with the United Nations to increase the number of targeted airstrikes in Yemen.”
The drone strikes come as the Obama administration has stepped up the use of drones in the Middle East and Africa.
The United States has carried out at least 8,835 drone strikes, according to data from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, but the government has not specified how many have been in Yemen.
“This year, the Obama Administration has authorized nearly 4,500 drone strikes,” Brennan said at a briefing Tuesday.
So we believe we have continued to have a significant impact on al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.”