The US State Department announced today that it is offering rewards for information on two senior AQAP leaders: Qasim al-Raymi and Khalid al-Batarfi. Both men attended al Qaeda’s training camps in pre-9/11 Afghanistan before assuming leadership roles in Yemen.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has released a new video that includes the testimony of several “spies” who have allegedly helped the Saudis and Americans hunt down the group’s members. There are reasons to be skeptical of AQAP’s claims, but the organization is clearly concerned that spies will do more damage to its hierarchy.
The United States has conducted a total of 34 strikes in Yemen in 2018, all of which targeted Al Qaeda barring one strike against the Islamic State in Jan. 2018. However the military is not likely to top last year’s high.
Hezbollah media sources released a photo of a meeting between its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Houthi leadership.
The death of Ibrahim al Asiri, one of the most dangerous and wanted men in the world, has yet to be confirmed. If he is confirmed to have been killed, his death will likely have minimal impact on AQAP as he has shared his expertise for well over a decade.
An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander confirmed for the first time that the Yemeni Ansar Allah (Houthis) struck targets following the IRGC’s order. The IRGC spokesman scrambled to deny the statements.
In 2017, LWJ reported unprecedented levels of airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen. Thus far in 2018, the United States has sustained its high strike tempo in Somalia and improved transparency on its air campaign in Yemen. Strikes in Pakistan have leveled off, however press restrictions make tracking operations there difficult. In Libya, the U.S. has targeted jihadists sparingly.
The Secretary-General of Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, said he is a “soldier” of Abdel Malek al Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement.