A suspected U.S. drone strike killed six al Qaeda fighters in Yemen’s central Marib province on Sunday, residents said, as Washington continues its years-long campaign against militants who have exploited an 18 month civil war in the country.
The men were killed in the bombing of a house in the Wadi Obeida tribal area east of the capital Sanaa.
Conflict in Yemen pitting the exiled government backed by Saudi Arabia against the dominant Houthi group has split the security forces and allowed Islamist militants to flourish.
The United States has for years launched drone strikes against al Qaeda’s powerful Yemen branch, which planned several foiled bombing attempts on Western-bound airliners and claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack at the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s offices in Paris.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) exploited the conflict to grab territory in the south and east of Yemen, but an offensive by government and Emirati forces beginning in April pushed them out of many towns they had seized back into rural and mountainous areas. (Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Toby Chopra)