A group of 34 al-Qaeda militants were killed and 17 others were arrested by special operations in Abyan province, Sana’a city and Arhab district in Yemen, authorities announced Dec. 17. Warplanes reportedly carried out air-strikes against an al-Qaeda training camp in al-Ma’jala area of Abyan governorate, while safe houses were raided in Sana’a, the capital. (Yemen Observer, Dec. 17)
In a telephone conversation that evening, US President Barack Obama congratulated Yemeni President Saleh on the success of the operations. (Yemen Online, Dec. 18) A manhunt is underway for three militants who apparently escaped in the sweeps. (Yemen Online, Dec. 18)
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US bombs Yemen —again?
Citing administration officials, ABC News reports that the US launched Cruise missiles Dec. 17 at a supposed al-Qaeda training camp north of Sana’a. One anonymous official claims that “an imminent attack against a US asset was being planned.”
Just two days earlier, Shi’ite Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed that US warplanes participated in Saudi Arabian air-strikes against villages in the north of the country.