The US has stepped up its air campaign on the Islamic State’s network in Yemen as the group has intensified its attacks on Yemeni security forces in the alternate capital of Aden.
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.
The strike is the latest in a series that have targeted the entirety of AQAP’s network in the war-torn country.
In addition to the updated strike total for Yemen, the response is interesting as it notes that AQAP operatives are not the only target of the air campaign: the US military is hitting the entirety of the network.
The US military has stepped up its campaign against AQAP, but has not been forthcoming about its targeting of the group as it has in Somalia.
CENTCOM announced today that Abu Khattab al Awlaqi, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s emir for the Shabwah province in Yemen, was killed along with two associates in a June 16 airstrike that targeted “terrorist compounds and attack networks in Yemen.”
The operation took place just days after the US Treasury Department listed two tribal leaders from Marib as global terrorists for supporting al Qaeda.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) presented its written “Worldwide Threat Assessment” to the Senate last week. The analysis confirms that the Islamic State is capable of sustaining insurgencies in both Iraq and Syria, Afghan security continues to “deteriorate,” and al Qaeda remains a threat in several parts of the globe.