Early Thursday morning, U.S. warplanes completed 20 airstrikes in Yemen. The strikes were part of the Pentagon’s attack on al-Qaeda targets in the Arabian Peninsula.
The strikes were directed at militants, equipment, and infrastructure that were all connected to the terrorists. This group of terrorists was the same branch that was attacked on January 29th when Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens lost his life.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis shared that the attacks were in association with the government of Yemen which is important to note since U.S. military was commanded to stop working on the ground the Yemeni troops in 2015.
Al-Qaeda squeezed its way into the ungoverned spaces in Yemen during the country’s civil war. It is there that they have been planning out attacks against the U.S. Those ungoverned spaces are the locations for U.S. airstrikes. Capt. Davis addressed how the airstrikes affected al-Qaeda saying:
“The strikes will degrade the AQAP’s ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting.”
While this operation hasn’t gotten much attention, it’s likely to get less than the controversial Jan. 29th mission. Trump is still saying that the soldiers captured intelligence that would assist in their next assignments but others are disagreeing with that statement. Many are saying the loss of Owens, the loss of a $90 million plane, and the civilian casualties make it unsuccessful.
The problem with those concerns are most are unconfirmed. The military is currently probing into the death of Owens, the events surrounding the plane’s destruction, and if civilians were actually killed. Until these results are in, there isn’t any proof saying the mission was a failure or a success.