US Launches Air Strikes in Yemen

Planning for the raid took place before he took office, Trump said on TV, and so, per the president, it was the generals who "lost Ryan".

The overnight strikes "will degrade the AQAP's ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting", Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Hadi assumed the presidency after Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted from office in 2012 in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings. According to media reports, the operation's goal was to capture or kill the group's leader Qassim Rimi, who is considered the third most unsafe terrorist in the world and a master recruiter. The growing strength of AQAP has come about despite years of US drone strikes and occasional raids by special operations commandos. They said US airstrikes targeted al-Qaeda artillery and other sites, and that no US Navy ships participated in the mission.

But it is still unclear how much the information advances the military's knowledge of the plans and future operations of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen, and some intelligence and congressional officials have questioned how significant the information analyzed so far really is.

USA officials say the intelligence gained from last month's raid in Yemen is helping fight terrorism. Human rights groups criticise the tactic because of civilian casualties. In addition to Owens, 14 militants and several civilians were killed.

Owen's father, Bill, has called for an investigation into the raid's planning and criticized the Trump administration for its timing. Owens told the newspaper that he refused to meet with Trump at Dover Air Force Base in DE during the "dignified transfer" of his son's remains.

An emotional Carryn Owens, widow of widow of Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, as she was acknowledged by President Donald Trump during his address to a joint session of Congress.

AQAP was the target of the January raid by Navy SEALS that killed a US service member and several children. Trump said he'd been reassured of that fact just before his speech by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

  • Joey Payne