Central Command: US conducted 36 strikes against al Qaeda, ISIS in Yemen in 2018

The U.S. military conducted 36 airstrikes against terrorist groups in Yemen in 2018, Central Command said Monday.

The figure is a significant drop from 2017’s 120-plus airstrikes, which was a spike from previous years.

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The strikes were conducted against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Yemen’s branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the governorates of Abyan, al Bayda, Hadramawt, Shabwah and Zamakh.

According to the release, 2018 began with 10 airstrikes against both AQAP and ISIS in January.

The remaining 26 strikes were all against AQAP and break down into six in February, seven in March, four in April, two in May, two in June, two in July, one in August and two in September.

There were no strikes in the final three months of 2018.

The full figures for 2018 come after Central Command announced its first strike against AQAP of 2019 targeted the alleged organizer of the USS Cole bombing, Jamal al-Badawi.

On Sunday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE said on Twitter that al-Badawi was killed in the strike.

“Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole. We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi. Our work against al Qaeda continues. We will never stop in our fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism!” he tweeted. 

Central Command later confirmed al-Badawi was killed in a New Year’s Day strike in the Marib governate in western Yemen.