US military conducts ground raid in Yemen on AQAP compound

The raid targeted a known al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) compound.

ByABC News
May 22, 2017, 10:39 PM

— -- U.S. military forces conducted a ground raid in Yemen early Tuesday morning that targeted a known al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula compound, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

The operation took place in Marib Governorate in central Yemen, according to Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

Thomas said the mission was intended as a site exploitation mission to gather more information about AQAP.

"Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP's disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP," said a Central Command statement.

Seven AQAP militants were killed as the U.S. forces encountered resistance and responded with a combination of small arms fire and precision airstrikes. Thomas said there were no reports of civilian casualties or any U.S. military casualties.

The raid targeted a known AQAP compound but included "focused actions over a fairly large area" that were miles from each other said Thomas. They included pre-planned coordinated airstrikes before the arrival of the ground forces.

The spokesman said that the nighttime mission was conducted "in full coordination with Arab partners in the area" and was conducted under the broader authorities given to U.S. military commanders by the Trump administration. The mission did not require presidential authorization.

Social media reports from local residents provided the first indication of possible U.S. military activity in the area of central Yemen.

This was the U.S. military's first ground operation in Marib Province.

On January 28, Navy SEAL's conducted a similar site exploitation raid on an AQAP compound in a neighboring province that resulted in the death of Senior Chief Naval Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens and two dozen civilians.

That raid required airstrikes to repel the heavy resistance the SEALS encountered. It also resulted in the destruction of a Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft that had experienced a hard landing and left several U.S. military personnel injured.

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