US kills Al-Qaeda propaganda chief in Yemen
Al-Qaeda’s propaganda chief in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was among those killed in two separate US drone strikes in Yemen.
- Saudi-born Abu Hajar al-Makki and three other AQAP militants were among six jihadists who were killed when a drone blew up their vehicle in the Wadi Obeida district of Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa.
- A long-running US drone war against AQAP has intensified since President Donald Trump took office, in particular, US forces have carried out more than 120 air strikes against jihadists in Yemen this year.
- Washington says its strikes have killed a number of senior AQAP figures in recent months, including Mujahid al- Adani, who was killed on November 20.
- It considers AQAP to be the worldwide jihadist network’s most dangerous branch.
- The Sunni extremist group has thrived in the chaos of nearly three years iof civil war between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels who control the capital.
- In addition to the air strikes, mostly carried out by drones, US special forces have conducted a number of ground raids against AQAP.
- The Pentagon has also been attacking a local branch of the Islamic State group, which it says has doubled in size over the past year.
- Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict since 2015, with the government of President Hadi fighting against the Houthi rebels, backed by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh