The Pentagon on Monday said U.S. forces have killed “dozens’ of ISIS members in two ISIS training camps in Al Bayda Governorate, Yemen.
The strikes on the terrorist training camps “disrupts the organization’s attempts to train new fighters,” the Pentagon said in a press release.
While the release does not detail how the strikes were conducted, a defense official told the Associated Press that drones carried out the strikes.
The Pentagon said ISIS was using the camps to “train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training.”
“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. “For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit.”
“In coordination with the government of Yemen, U.S. forces are supporting ongoing counterterrorism operations in Yemen against ISIS and AQAP to degrade the groups’ ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to hold territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen,” the Pentagon said.
“Strikes against ISIS targets disrupt and destroy militants’ attack-plotting efforts, leadership networks and freedom of maneuver within the region,” it added.
The Associated Press also reported:
The U.S. has no combat troops in Yemen but has periodically conducted airstrikes to attack militants, including fighters of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen fell into chaos following its 2011 Arab Spring uprising that removed longtime autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh, now allied with Shiite rebels from the north who occupy much of the country and are fighting his successor. A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels and Saleh’s forces since March 2015.
Al-Qaida has taken advantage of the security breakdown to seize territory and expand operations in impoverished Yemen, which sits along strategic oil shipping routes.