Friday 19/01/2018 - 05:22 pm


Trump steps up airstrikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen; more ground raids could follow


2017.03.04 04:49

more than two years after a multi-sided civil war erupted inside Yemen that allowed Al Qaedas local franchise to amass power and seize territory, President Trump has directed the Pentagon to embark on a complicated counter-terrorism campaign.

Trump’s decision, just six weeks into his presidency, intends to reverse the largely unchecked expansion across southern Yemen of the group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The willingness to expand counter-terrorism operations inside war-torn Yemen was the latest signal that Trump is more willing to defer to military commanders on national security policy than President Obama, who was criticized publicly by three of his four Defense secretaries and privately by uniformed officers for micromanaging the military.

Over two days this week, armed drones and warplanes conducted more than 30 airstrikes against suspected Al Qaeda positions in three Yemeni provinces, marking the first U.S. attacks in the country since an ill-fated Navy SEAL raid in January that killed two dozen civilians, including women and children, Al Qaeda militants and Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens.

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