According to Yemeni military officials, four airstrikes were carried out by U.S. military aircraft in an area where militants linked to al-Qaida have control of several towns. The airstrikes were targeted near the town of Jaar, which is located in the Abyan province. The Khanfar Mountain was a specific target because many of the militants live in hideouts there. A factory was also targeted because al-Qaida was in control of it. Some reports say that an ammunition store was hit as well.
The Yemeni branch of al-Qaida is believed to be the most dangerous of the militant group. On Saturday, at least 18 al-Qaida members were killed in theBayda province. According to officials in the Yemeni military, the United States carried out the attacks because the Yemeni military did not have the capabilities for airstrikes at night.
Southern Yemen has become a battleground of sorts as al-Qaida has taken control of several towns in the region. The new ruler of Yemen, Abed Raboo Mansour Hadi, has the support of the United States and he said that one of his main goals is to fight al-Qaida. Hadi also wants to restructure Yemen’s army and get new military commanders in the southern reaches of the country. There are reports that people loyal to Saleh had even made deals with al-Qaida in that area. There have been multiple reports of the Yemeni army engaging the militants in firefights across the southern portions of the country.
Sunday’s airstrikes caused the deaths of at least three militants, according to Yemen officials; however, there are reports of many wounded members of the targeted militant group. Since Friday, U.S. airstrikeshave killed 59 militants. Just last week, al-Qaida attacked an army base. They killed almost 200 troops when they snuck across to the back liens of the Yemeni military stationed there.