US kills senior Al-Qaeda figures in Yemen

The US has announced that it has killed Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leaders in recent air strikes in Yemen, US Central Command officials reported yesterday.

“Habib Al-Sana’ani was killed in an airstrike Dec. 19 in Marib governorate. He was an Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula deputy arms facilitator and intermediary with ties to senior leaders of the group who was responsible for facilitating the movement of weapons, explosives and finances into northern Marib and Al-Baydah governorates,” the statement read.

In addition to the targeted killing, external operations facilitator Miqdad Al-Sana’ani was killed on 15 December in an air strike in Al-Baydah governorate. Five days later, the propagandist Umar Al-Sana’ani was killed in the same governorate, the statement read.

The US government has killed some 1,339 people and injuring 300 in Yemen, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ). However the actual number may be higher as the lack of transparency surrounding counter-terrorism strikes renders it difficult to assess who was killed.

Read: Here’s what Washington should do about Yemen

The statement did not mention if there were any civilian casualties in the recent air strikes.

Amid US counter terrorism strikes pounding Yemen since 2002, the country has endured a civil war which erupted in 2014 when the Houthi group took over the capital Sana’a. The internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi called in a Saudi-led coalition to neutralise the territorial threats posed by the Houthis.

The US has supported the Saudi-led coalition by providing intelligence on the ground and targets Daesh and Al-Qaeda through the use of drones. A US drone was shot down by the Houthi group last year.

Read: 16 years on, Guantanamo Bay remains a blight on the US

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