2 Al Qaeda Militants Dead in U.S. Air Strike
In Southern Yemen, a suspected U.S. drone strike struck down two al-Qaeda terrorists on Saturday, USA Today reports. This marks the ninth such strike in Yemen since July 27.
According to reports, the U.S. drone also wounded another two terrorists, leaving one seriously injured. The four had been driving in a car near the area of el-Askariya.
It was the first time a drone strike has hit a target in Lahj province.
Since July 27, the accelerated use of drone strikes in Yemen has killed 38 suspected al-Qaeda terrorists during a two week period.
The drone program is operated by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA. The U.S. officially acknowledges its drone activity in Yemen, although does not highlight individual strikes. The drones have been flying from Djibouti and out of a base located in Saudi Arabia.
Drone strikes have been numerous in Yemen under President Barack Obama and a U.S.-backed offensive last year which drove Al Qaeda from territory they had seized a year earlier, during Yemen's political turmoil amid the Arab Spring.
Throughout parts of the Middle East and Africa, the U.S. plans to re-open diplomatic posts that were temporarily closed amid a major terror alert, although it plans to keep the embassy in Yemen closed.
Yemen has been a focal point for such strikes, particularly since the Yemeni branch of the group - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) - is considered the most dangerous by US security services.
Yemeni Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed met on Saturday with Deputy U.S. Ambassador Karen Sasahara and two American security officials based in Yemen to discuss the security situation.
In a statement, the defense minister said he expressed appreciation during the meeting for U.S. logistical and technical support to the Yemeni armed forces in their fight against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.