US strikes in Yemen kill five AQAP militants: Pentagon

Washington: US air strikes in Yemen have killed five Al-Qaeda militants including a local leader, military officials said today.

The November 20 strikes occurred in the al-Baida governorate in central Yemen and among those killed was Mujahid al-Adani, an Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader from neighboring Shabwa, the military’s Central Command said in a statement.

Adani, also known as Mohammad Shukri, “previously served as an AQAP military leader in Aden and remained responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks against Yemeni and coalition forces,” the statement read.

Washington considers the Yemen-based AQAP to be the radical group’s most dangerous branch.

A long-running US drone war against AQAP has intensified since President Donald Trump took office in January.

AQAP has flourished in the chaos of the country’s civil war, which pits the Saudi-backed government against Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies.

More than 8,700 people have been killed in the conflict since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened on the government’s side in March 2015.

Al-Qaeda’s jihadist rivals, the Islamic State group, have also carried out several deadly attacks in the country.