The US has now launched more than 75 airstrikes in Yemen since the beginning of the year, almost double the yearly total since the drone program against al Qaeda in Yemen began in 2009.
On March 9, Thomas Joscelyn testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The hearing, “Resolving the Conflict in Yemen: U.S. Interests, Risks, and Policy,” was called to explore the political dynamics of the ongoing war in Yemen, as well as the roles played by foreign actors and al Qaeda.
The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a “high” risk and warned that he would “engage in extremist activities upon release.” He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009.
Testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on the future of counterterrorism and addressing the evolving threat to domestic security.
The seventh issue of Al Qaeda’s Al Nafir Bulletin, which was released earlier today, denounced the recent American counterterrorism raid in Yemen. The group’s statement portrayed the operation as an assault on all Muslims and threatened President Donald Trump, saying “the flame of jihad has ignited and reached all over the world.”
FDD’s Long War Journal has previously identified Abdulrauf al Dhahab, one of the senior jihadist operatives killed in the raid, as a member of a family with strong ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
One US soldier was killed and three more were injured during a raid in central Yemen. Adbulrauf al Dhahab, a senior Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader, and 13 other fighters were reportedly killed in the operation.
The strikes in Yemen are the first reported against jihadist groups in what the Obama administration has described as “areas of active hostilities,” meaning Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and sometimes Libya, since President Donald Trump took office.