More than 20 US airstrikes conducted in Yemen overnight

PHOTO: Locator map of provinces in Yemen where U.S. conducts airstrikes in March 2017. PlayTNS/Newscom
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U.S. forces conducted more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen overnight, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

The airstrikes involved a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft, a U.S. official told ABC News.

The strikes, in the three Yemeni provinces of Al Baydah, Abyan and Shabwa, targeted al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) infrastructure.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the strikes were conducted in partnership with the Yemeni government.

"The strikes will degrade the AQAP's ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting," Davis said in a statement.

This is the first U.S. military action in Yemen since January's Navy SEAL raid that killed Senior Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens.

A U.S. official told ABC News that last night's airstrikes were planned prior to that SEAL mission.

The Jan. 28 raid on a compound in rural southern Yemen was intended as an intelligence gathering mission targeting AQAP. The U.S. military has said that 14 AQAP fighters were killed in the raid.

An ongoing U.S. Central Command review has determined that some civilians were also killed, including possibly children. Local reports in Yemen have said as many as 25 civilians may have been killed during the raid.

A senior U.S. official told ABC News that "valuable intelligence" was gathered from the raid.

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