12 U.S. airstrikes hit al-Qaida hideouts in Yemen
Several hideouts of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were hit by a series of airstrikes launched by U.S. drones in the central province of al-Bayda on Monday, Xinhua reported citing military official.
"The American unmanned aircrafts struck training camps and arms caches of the al-Qaida terrorist group in different mountainous villages of al-Bayda province with more than 12 airstrikes," the local military official said on condition of anonymity.
According to the Yemeni official, the American airstrikes precisely hit al-Qaida locations and killed many terrorists.
Residents in the province told Xinhua that large explosions were heard as a result of the American aerial bombardment and cars rushed to rescue the victims.
Tribal sources said that areas controlled by militants affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group were also targeted by a number of U.S. drone strikes.
Well-armed fighters belonging to the terrorist group were deployed and surrounded the villages where the airstrikes took place, the tribal sources said.
The U.S. air raids coincided with ongoing anti-terror military operations carried out by newly-trained Yemeni troops against Yemen's al-Qaida branch, known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan.
The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against AQAP fighters in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since U.S. President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.
That included intensified overnight airstrikes and ground military raids against the al-Qaida hideouts in the mountainous areas of al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, seen by the U.S. as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern provinces.
Yemen's government, allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.
UN statistics showed that more than 8,000 people have been killed in Yemen's conflict, most of them civilians, since the Saudi-led coalition entered the conflict in 2015.
The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world's largest cholera outbreak, with about 5,000 cases being reported every day.