US carried out 8 strikes on Al Qaeda in Yemen this year

One strike in January was confirmed to have killed USS Cole bombing plotter

(FILES) In this undated file photo Yemeni Jamal al-Badawi is shown attending his trial in court October 18, 2007.  US President Donald Trump confirmed January 6, 2019 that the US military has killed one of the architects of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that left 17 American servicemen dead. The military said Friday that Al-Qaeda operative Jamal al-Badawi was believed to have been killed in a precision strike in Yemen."Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole," Trump tweeted. "We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi." / AFP / KHALED FAZAA
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The United States has carried out eight air strikes on Al Qaeda targets in Yemen this year, the US Central Command said on Monday.

Two of the air strikes were in January and six in March, the US military's Central Command said.

The January air strikes took place in Marib and Bayda provinces  while the March airstrikes took place in Bayda, Centcom said.

US officials have said one of the strikes in January killed Jamal Al Badawi, one of the plotters behind the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Aden in 2000.

The US has regularly carried out air strikes against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based branch of the terror group, as well as the local branch of ISIS. Both groups took advantage of the chaos after civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015 to expand their operations in the south of the country. Aqap has since been driven out of most areas by Yemeni forces trained by the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government.

“In co-ordination with the government of Yemen, US forces continue to support ongoing counterterrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Y to disrupt and destroy militants' attack-plotting efforts, networks, and freedom of manoeuvre within the region,” Centcom spokesman Lt Col Earl Brown said.

The US military does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in strikes, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, the number of individual munition impact points against a target, or the organisation of US forces, the Centcom statement said.

The US carried out a total of 36 air strikes against Al Qaeda and ISiS in Yemen last year. Those strikes were in Abyan, Bayda, Hadramawt, Shabwa and Zamakh provinces, Centcom said.