Targeting an al-Qaeda affiliate since Thursday night, the United States has launched over 30 airstrikes against Yemen. These attacks are said to be intended to increase pressure on the terrorists' network and to undermine their facilities. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis spoke to reporters on Friday as a representative for the Pentagon. He suggested that al-Qaeda is a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS, claiming that al-Qaeda has "more American blood on its hands."

The incident

The Pentagon launched over 30 airstrikes against Yemen beginning Thursday night.

They targeted militants, equipment, heavy weapons systems, and infrastructure in several locations around Yemen during these strikes. The Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha regions were all hit during both days of the attacks. According to U.S. officials, both manned and unmanned aircraft were used and al-Qaeda members are said to have been killed. No civilian casualties have been reported at this time. One of the targets from Thursday was said to be a high ranking member of al-Qaeda, but they have not released the target's name nor whether or not he has been confirmed dead. These airstrikes have been planned for quite some time, but so far they have yielded no valuable information.

Foreign Policy

With aid from Iran, Yemen has been involved in a war with Saudi Arabia for more than a year.

With ISIS strongholds to the North and a full-fledged war to the South, Saudi Arabia seems to have enemies at every turn. During his presidential campaign, Trump claimed to know of a way to defeat ISIS. He never explained how, but he was quite confident in his secret strategy, even with his total lack of military experience.

These airstrikes against Yemen are fully directed at al-Qaeda operatives, not ISIS. Al-Qaeda was severely disabled when their infamous leader Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 during a Navy SEAL strike orchestrated by former President Obama. The claims behind this current airstrike lie with the deadly raid in Baydha back in January, which led to the loss of many civilian lives, a US aircraft, and Chief Petty Officer William Owens.

It is unclear if this airstrike is considered to be for the benefit of gaining intelligence and undermining what's left of al-Qaeda, or if it is an attempt at retaliation.

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