USA warplanes conducted more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen as the Pentagon continued an intensifying campaign to strike targets associated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Pentagon announced Thursday. "One senior Pentagon official described the information gathered as 'de minimis, ' and as material the USA already knew about".
The strikes were spread across three provinces, Abyah, Shabwah and Bayda, the last being the same place where US Navy SEALs raided a suspected al-Qaeda compound in what the US military has called an intelligence gathering mission.
Conducted in partnership with Yemen's government, the strikes were coordinated with President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi, Davis said. The U.S. military has said the raid also killed 14 suspected members of al-Qaida.
They said they heard loud explosions early this morning in Al-Maraqisha, a rugged mountainous area where Al-Qaeda militants took refuge past year after they were driven out of Yemeni cities they had captured earlier.
This is the first US military action in Yemen since January's Navy SEAL raid that killed Senior Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens.
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But Trump told reporters traveling with him he has "total" confidence in Sessions and he shouldn't recuse himself. American planes will soar the skies.
US President Donald Trump also relayed Mr Mattis' claims to Fox News on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to.
AQAP reported that USA aircraft attempted to land in the southern Abyan province but the attempt was thwarted, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
The group boasts one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, and AQAP has been a persistent concern to the USA government since a 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
But it is still unclear how much the information advances the military's knowledge of the plans and future operations of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen, and some intelligence and congressional officials have questioned how significant the information analyzed so far really is. Some are believed to be in the West but not the United States, officials told CNN.
The United States has been waging an air campaign against al-Qaida in Yemen for well over a decade, and has killed a number of senior militants in drone strikes, most recently in 2015, when the group's top leader was killed in the southern city of Mukalla.