Defense

Pentagon: Dozens of ISIS fighters killed in Yemen strikes

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The Pentagon said U.S. forces killed dozens of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) members in a Monday strike on two training camps in Yemen.

The ISIS camps in the Al Bayda Governorate disrupted the organization’s attempts to train new fighters, the Defense Department said in a statement. 

“ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” the statement said.

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The Pentagon did not say how the strikes were conducted, but a defense official told The Associated Press drones were used.

“ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world,” the Pentagon said.

The United States doesn’t officially have troops on the ground in Yemen, but the Pentagon said it does support “ongoing counterterrorism operations” in the country against ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — described as the most dangerous of al Qaeda’s branches.

The U.S. military ramped up airstrikes against the group — more than 80 since February — after President Trump gave the military expanded authority to conduct such strikes without high-level approval from the White House.

U.S. forces have also conducted at least two ground raids in Yemen since Trump took office, including the controversial Jan. 29 raid that resulted in the death of Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens and a number of Yemeni civilians.

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