The US military launched two airstrikes against the Islamic State in Yemen yesterday. An estimated 60 Islamic State fighters are thought to have been killed in three US strikes that have targeted the group over the past two weeks.
Nine Islamic State fighters were killed in yesterday’s attacks, which took place in Al Bayda province in central Yemen, The Military Times reported. A US Central Command (CENTCOM) official told the news agency that “approximately 60 ISIS terrorists” were killed in the three combined airstrikes.
Previously, CENTCOM reported that it killed “dozens” of Islamic State fighters in attacks that targeted two training camps that were based in Al Bayda province.
In the announcement on the operation that targeted the two camps, CENTCOM noted that the Islamic State “has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world.”
“For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit,” CENTCOM continued.
The US military has stepped up operations against both the Islamic State and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Since the beginning of 2017, the US has launched more than 100 strikes against AQAP and three against the Islamic State.
The US government has begun to identify key members of the Islamic State’s network in Yemen. On Oct. 25, the US Department of Treasury noted that Abu Sulayman al-Adani serves as the emir of the Islamic State in Yemen. Nashwan al-Wali al-Yafi’i serves as the group’s top financial official, while Khalid al-Marfadi, Radwan Muhammad Husayn Ali Qanan and Khalid Sa’id Ghabish al-Ubaydi serve as key military leaders.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.