US drone strike kills six in Yemen

U.S. unmanned aircraft reportedly fired eight missiles into a house in Hadramout province east of Sana'a, according to Reuters. While six insurgents were taken out in the attack, eight others were able to escape the home shortly after the strike, an eyewitness told the news agency.


American military and intelligence officials have been hammering away at al Qaeda's Yemen terror cell, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), since 2009. 

That year, an alleged member of the terror group attempted to blow up a commercial airliner bound for the United States from Yemen in American airspace. 

Since then, U.S. officials have been executing numerous drone strikes against AQAP members and leaders, supplementing an ongoing offensive by Yemeni forces against the terror cell's strongholds in the southern part of the country. 

The Pentagon is currently pursuing congressional support for a new $75 million counterterrorism package for Yemen. The money will help arm and equip the Yemeni military with an arsenal of machine guns, sniper rifles and aerial drones, as well as help build two new operating bases in country. 

A 20-man force of U.S. special operations force is already on the ground in Yemen, providing satellite imagery, drone video, eavesdropping systems and other technical means to point out suspected al Qaeda targets to U.S. and Yemeni forces, according to news reports. 

The U.S. special forces units on the ground in Yemen were part of a U.S. mission strictly focused on advising and assisting Yemeni forces, DOD spokesman George Little said in July. 

American and coalition forces on Wednesday were also able to take out a top Taliban commander responsible for a suicide attack against a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan in August. 

The commander, known as Bismullah, and two additional insurgents were killed in an airstrike in Logar province in the eastern part of the country, according to an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command statement issued Wednesday. 

Bismullah was suspected of coordinating an attack against a coalition outpost in the Pul-i-Alam district of Logar province. 

In the attack, a suspected Taliban suicide bomber attempted to breach the base's outer perimeter by detonating a truck laden with explosives. 

While the bomber was unable to break the base's defenses, the explosion wounded 13 people, including two Americans, according to reports at the time.