The Pentagon confirmed Monday that it conducted three drone strikes in Yemen against al Qaeda militants over the weekend.
The strikes were the first since President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE was sworn in to office, but the Pentagon said the strikes did not require authorization from him or Defense Secretary James Mattis.
"Those authorities are delegated," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said at a briefing.
Davis said one strike was conducted in al Bayda, Yemen each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The strikes were conducted against al Qaeda's Yemen branch, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Experts have deemed it to be the most dangerous al Qaeda branch.
The strike on Friday killed one al Qaeda operative, while the one on Saturday killed three people and the one on Sunday one person.
"AQAP remains a significant threat to the region and the United States. Al Qaeda's presence has a destabilizing effect on Yemen and it's using the unrest in Yemen to provide a haven from which to plan future attacks against the U.S. and its interests," Davis said.
"We will continue to degrade, disrupt and destroy al Qaeda and its remnants and we remain committed to defeating AQAP and denying it safe havens regardless of its locations. These strikes conducted by the U.S. continue to diminish AQAP's presence in the region even while there's a separate civil war going on in Yemen," he added.