Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

U.S. drone strikes attack Daesh in Yemen for first time

U.S. drone strikes attack Daesh in Yemen for first time

Witnesses said villagers were prevented by tribal leaders from approaching the area and retrieving the dead and wounded for fear of additional strikes.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the strikes disrupted the Islamic State group's attempts to train new fighters to conduct attacks using AK-47s, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

"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. But this is first time that internationally recognized government-related security sources report drone attacks on EI.

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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.

IS, however, has risen to prominence in the country's civil war targeting both army recruits of the government and Shiites, which it considers heretics.

The UN statistics showed that over 8,000 people, majority civilians, have been killed in Yemen's conflict since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in 2015.

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"Strikes against ISIS targets disrupt and destroy militants' attack-plotting efforts, leadership networks and freedom of maneuver within the region", the CENTCOM statement read.

The United States provides arms and logistical support to a Saudi-led military coalition that has launched nearly daily air strikes against the Houthis to try to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government. The wider civil war has left nearly 9,000 people dead, according to United Nations figures.

"For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit", Pentagon said.

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The Pentagon said they believe ISIS is using "ungoverned spaces" in Yemen to plot attacks.

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