US airstrike kills 8 AQAP terrorists in Yemen

A US airstrike in Yemen killed on Sunday eight operatives of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), including a key leader, said the Pentagon.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman, said the airstrike on April 23 killed Abu Ahmed Awlaqi, who had led AQAP operations in Shabwa province. Davis said he was a plotter of external attacks and had facilitated the extremist group’s transfer of weapons and explosives.

Davis said seven other AQAP operatives also were killed in the airstrike.

The strike targeted a car in which the suspects were traveling in the Rawda region of Shabwa province, according to a Yemeni official who preferred anonymity.

Since President Donald Trump took office in January, the US has intensified its air war against AQAP, regarded by Washington as the most dangerous branch of the extremist group.

The Pentagon said on April 3 that it had carried out more than 70 strikes against terror targets in Yemen since Feb. 28.

Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the chaos caused by more than two years of civil war to expand its presence in Yemen.