A massive US airstrike in Yemen has killed what the Pentagon estimates is “dozens” of people, the second such mass-casualty strike the US military has undertaken this month.
The two strikes, killing more than 200 people at what the Pentagon described as terrorist training camps, diverged so sharply from the previous years’ worth of relatively low-casualty strikes that observers speculated US policy may have quietly changed.
Peter Cook, the Pentagon spokesman, announced late Tuesday that the US had bombed a mountain redoubt in Yemen used by al-Qaida’s local affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He said it was a “training camp” used by “more than 70 AQAP terrorists”.
An independent assessment of the actual impact of the strike, to include a full casualty total and civilian impact, was not immediately available. The Pentagon did not provide further detail of where in Yemen the alleged camp was located.
“We continue to assess the results of the operation, but our initial assessment is that dozens of AQAP fighters have been removed from the battlefield,” Cook said in a statement.