At least five militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch were killed when a US drone strike hit their vehicle in the country’s central province of al-Bayda on Thursday, a security official told Xinhua.
“The pilotless aircraft hit a vehicle belonging to Al Qaeda group, destroying it and killing five terrorists in the mountainous area of Sharqan in al-Bayda province,” the security source said on condition of anonymity.
He said that the US airstrike precisely targeted the al-Qaida militants who were moving into their hideouts located in a tribal region.
The strike came just two days after the US launched a series of airstrikes targeting several hideouts of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group in al-Bayda province.
In recent months, the US military has carried out several airstrikes against Al Qaeda militants in different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since US President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the extremist group.
That included intensified overnight airstrikes and ground military raids against the Al Qaeda hideouts in the mountainous areas of al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.
The Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch, seen by the US as the global terror network’s most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen’s government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern Yemeni provinces.