US Airstrikes in Central Yemen

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A series of U.S. airstrikes targeted alleged al-Qaida positions in central Yemen early Thursday, leaving at least four militants dead, Yemeni officials said.

The officials told The Associated Press that U.S. jets and drones targeted the district of al-Sawmaa in the province of Bayda. One media official in the province said that a total of 23 airstrikes were carried out by U.S. jets. A second official said four al-Qaida militants were killed in the airstrikes.

The Yemeni officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media.

U.S. military officials were not immediately available for comment.

The outskirts of Bayda are believed to be an al-Qaida hideout along with areas that are adjacent to the southern provinces of Shabwa and Abyan.

Thursday's airstrikes come a month after U.S. special forces carried out a raid in the same province.

In that operation, one U.S. Navy Seal was killed, six American soldiers were wounded and a military aircraft suffered a hard landing and had to be destroyed. It was launched just days after President Donald Trump's inauguration.

Survivors and witnesses say at least 25 Yemenis were killed in the attack, including 10 children and nine women, sparking outrage in Yemen and prompting the government to ask Washington for a review of the Jan. 29 assault on the district of Yakla.

(KA)