Central Command: Eight airstrikes conducted against al Qaeda in Yemen since Jan. 1

The U.S. military has conducted eight airstrikes against the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen since the start of the year, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said Monday.

Six of those strikes against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) happened in March in the Al Bayda governate, according to a news release.


The other two happened in January, one in Al Bayda and the other in the Marib governate. The strike in Marib was previously announced as killing the alleged organizer of the USS Cole bombing, Jamal al-Badawi.

Monday’s release gave no additional details about the eight strikes, including on casualties.

“In coordination with the government of Yemen, U.S. forces continue to support ongoing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-[Yemen] to disrupt and destroy militants' attack-plotting efforts, networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region,” Centcom spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement.

Last year, the U.S. military conducted 36 strikes against AQAP and Yemen’s branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The total was a significant drop from 2017, which itself was a spike from 2016.

U.S. military operations against AQAP and ISIS in Yemen are separate from the U.S. support for the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen’s civil war against Houthi rebels.

The House is expected to vote as soon as this week on resolution that would require the president to withdraw U.S. forces in or “affecting” Yemen unless they are fighting al Qaeda or associated forces.