Thursday, 23 March, 2017

Al-Qaeda ideologue's daughter killed in United States raid on Yemen

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Nathaniel Diaz | 31 January, 2017, 00:57

A U.S. commando died and three others were wounded carrying out a dawn raid on the Al-Qaeda militant group in southern Yemen, in the first military operation authorised by President Donald Trump.

The operation targeting a group of senior Al Qaeda leaders in central Yemen killed a U.S. Navy SEAL and wounded three others, according to U.S. Central Command, which initially reported only one American was hurt in the aircraft's "hard landing".

The military operation is the first to be attributed to the United States against al-Qaida in Yemen since Trump took office on January 20.

Medics at the scene said 30 people had been killed, including 10 women and three children. The MV-22 Osprey was destroyed in the landing.

U.S. special forces have launched a surprise raid against an al Qaeda stronghold in central Yemen.

The raid, he said, "was specifically to enable us to gather the information we needed to be able to map out this group better and to prevent future foreign terrorist attacks".

It was unclear how many civilians might have been killed in the pre-dawn raid in the rural Bayda province of southwestern Yemen. But Apache helicopters also targeted a school, a mosque and a medical facility used by al Qaeda militants, a provincial official told AFP. SEAL team 6 - the same unit that hit Osama bin Laden - engaged multiple Islamic militants in a almost 1 hour-long firefight and managed to kill 14 Jihadists, including senior Al-Qaeda leaders Abdulraoof al-Dhahab, Sultan al-Dhahab and Seif al-Nims.

The US special forces killed Abdulraoof Al Thahab, his brother Sultan, who US officials said were Al Qaeda leaders, and all their family members, the Yemeni official said. "Why kill children? This is the new administration - it's very sad, a big crime", Nasser al-Awlaki said.

Yakla tribal fighters have repelled many attacks by Houthi rebels who have attempted to take over the area, the official said.

US Special Operations forces have maintained a small footprint in Yemen focused on AQAP, which has been one of the most active branches of al-Qaeda and has been involved in plots to strike the West.

Per The Washington Post, reports of civilian casualties are being investigated.

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