US Strikes in Yemen Target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

US Strikes in Yemen Target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsulaā€¯

The strikes will degrade the AQAP's ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting. New details of the raid indicate that after the SEALs pushed the al-Qaida terrorists out of their primary residence, they retreated to a nearby building and began indiscriminately firing.

U.S. defense officials have told CNN that the January raid was part of an "expanded mission set" aimed at going after the terror group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to the request Monday, saying that the USA military would already be conducting three separate investigations into the incident, and defended the raid. The assault took place days after Trump's inauguration.

Earlier, on Tuesday afternoon, Pres. Trump lied and said that the Yemen raid was an operation that had been planned by the Obama administration.

Critics have questioned the raid's execution and value.

A senior USA official told ABC News that "valuable intelligence" was gathered from the raid.

The nighttime raid on January 28 conducted by SEAL Team Six in rural southern Yemen was intended as an intelligence gathering mission targeting a known AQAP compound, officials said.

But it is still unclear how much the information advances the military's knowledge of the plans and future operations of al Qaeda's branch in Yemen.

Yemen has been wracked by a civil war between forces loyal to the government and Houthi rebels.

A week ago, Human Rights Watch called upon the carry out an investigation saying that the US needs to "go a step further and provide a full accounting of possible laws-of-war violations".

The group has also emerged as a de facto ally of the US -backed Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his backers - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - against the Shiite rebels.

Military intelligence officers are now trying to locate these "contacts".

The sources said some of these people are believed to be in the West but not in the United States.

Throughout the years, the US has depended on drone strikes in hunting down al-Qaida's top leaders and operatives.

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