Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists (archive)
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists (archive) Reuters

The United States military on Tuesday night launched an air strike against a training camp run by Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Reuters reported.

Dozens of AQAP fighters were killed in the strike, the Pentagon said.

"This strike deals a blow to AQAP's ability to use Yemen as a base for attacks that threaten U.S. persons, and it demonstrates our commitment to defeating Al-Qaeda and denying it safe haven," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook was quoted as having said.

The strike is believed to have been carried out in a mountainous area to the west of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout province.

Locals had earlier told the Reuters news agency that at least 30 Al-Qaeda members had been killed in the air strike.

AQAP has carried out many terrorist attacks in Yemen in recent years and has also targeted the West, having last year claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris and then calling for “lone wolf attacks” against Western targets.

The leader of AQAP, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, was killed in an American air strike last June.

In addition to heading AQAP, al-Wuhayshi was also the number two leader of the global Al-Qaeda group. In a video that surfaced in 2014, he made clear that he's going after the United States, saying, "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"