US Forces Bombardment Kill Three Key AQAP Leaders in Yemen

US forces bombardment killed three key Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen.

According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the forces conducted more than 120 strikes in Yemen in 2017 against AQAP or Islamic State high-value targets.

CENTCOM identified the AQAP operatives who were killed as key Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders.

The CENTCOM press release noted that their responsibilities included external operations facilitator, an operative who paves the way for attacks outside of Yemen, an arms facilitator, as well as a member of its proselytizing council.

Those include, Miqdad al Sana’ani, an external operations facilitator, who was killed on Dec. 15. The strike occurred in Bayda governorate, where the majority of publicized US strikes in 2017 occurred.

On Dec. 19, US forces killed Habib al-Sana’ani in the adjacent governorate of Marib. Habib served as an “AQAP deputy arms facilitator, who was an intermediary with ties to senior AQAP leadership and was responsible for facilitating the movement of weapons, explosives and finances into northern Marib and al-Bayda governorates.

The US forces also killed Abu Umar al-Sana’ani, a member of AQAP’s dawah, or preaching committee, in a strike in Marib. CENTCOM killed two other AQAP leaders in the same governorate that day, according to an earlier press release, however it is unclear if Abu Umar was killed in the same strike.

Mujahid al-Adani, also known as Mohammad Shukri, was an AQAP leader in Shabwah, while Abu Layth al-Sanaani was an AQAP facilitator.

The US reportedly killed Abu Hajar al-Makki, who was described by AFP as AQAP’s “propaganda chief,” in a strike in Marib province on Dec. 20.

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