Politics

US airstrikes in Yemen kill 9 ISIS militants

It's 2nd time US has targeted ISIS in Yemen

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The US military conducted two airstrikes targeting ISIS in Yemen on Wednesday, killing nine ISIS militants, according to US Central Command, which oversees US troops in the region.

The two strikes hit ISIS vehicles and took place in al Bayda Governorate in Yemen.

This is only the second time the US has targeted ISIS in Yemen with a series of strikes, suggesting US planners are increasingly concerned about the terror group's presence there.

Military strikes there have historically targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"Ongoing US counter-terrorism operations against ISIS in the ungoverned spaces of Yemen continued today with two strikes, which killed nine terrorists," said US Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a Central Command spokesperson.

The first strike successfully targeted seven armed ISIS fighters traveling in a truck in a rural area of al Bayda. The second strike killed two armed ISIS fighters in a parked truck located about five miles to the west of the first site, Jacques said.

In the last 10 days, US forces have successfully targeted and removed 60 ISIS terrorists from the battlefield in Yemen.

A series of strikes on two ISIS terror training camps in al Bayda on October 16, killed more than 50 terrorists, disrupting the organization's attempts to train new fighters.

ISIS used the camps to train aspiring militants to conduct terror attacks, conducting courses in assault tactics and the use of AK-47s, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

Yemen has been wracked by warfare and has become a proxy battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Yemen's minority Houthis, who are Shiite, rebelled against the Sunni-led government, backed by Saudi Arabia.

That spurred the Saudi-led coalition to launch airstrikes in support of Yemen's government against rebel targets in Yemen in March of 2015.

The United Nations has called the conflict a "humanitarian catastrophe."

Government forces and the Saudi-led coalition also have fought against the al Qaeda branch in Yemen and ISIS, both of which are anti-government Sunni terror groups.


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