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03 March 2017, 03:12 | Clarence Schmidt
USA forces conducted more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen overnight Wednesday into Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.
A U.S. official told AFP that Tuesday's strikes had been planned months ago and were unrelated to the controversial raid, which the White House has repeatedly claimed was a success that yielded crucial intelligence, despite global condemnation.
The White House has stood fast - on Tuesday, Trump featured Owens' widow, Carryn, during his address to a joint session of Congress and affirmed again that "Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies".
Yemeni security officials told The Associated Press that United States jets and drones targeted at least six districts where the provinces of Bayda, Shabwa and Abyan meet.
Thursday's attacks were conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
A series of us airstrikes targeted alleged al-Qaida positions on Thursday in a mountainous area where three Yemeni provinces meet, leaving at least four militants dead, Yemeni officials said. New details of the raid indicate that after the SEALs pushed the al-Qaida terrorists out of their primary residence, they retreated to a nearby building and began indiscriminately firing.
US President Donald Trump also relayed Mr Mattis' claims to Fox News on Tuesday.
The U.S. raid in January killed some two dozen civilians, including Abdullah Mabkhout al-Ameri.
The group boasts one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, and AQAP has been a persistent concern to the US government since a 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
The strikes come barely a month after a botched American commando raid against the militants that left multiple civilians dead, including nine children and a US Navy SEAL. Another official said four al-Qaida militants were killed in the airstrikes that targeted Shabwa's Saeed district. Owens' father has called for an investigation. According to media reports, the operation's goal was to capture or kill the group's leader Qassim Rimi, who is considered the third most risky terrorist in the world and a master recruiter.
The terabyte's worth of intelligence gathered from computers and cell phones is now being reviewed at the National Media Exploitation Center outside Washington, which analyzes documents, electronic media, cell phones, video and audio tapes seized on overseas missions.
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