The U.S. military stepped up its air campaign in Yemen dramatically in 2017, conducting more than six times as many airstrikes as in 2016, according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) data.
In addition to the airstrikes, the Pentagon acknowledges there is now a small intermittent U.S. military presence inside Yemen.
In 2017, the U.S. military carried out 131 airstrikes, both manned and unmanned, against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS in Yemen, the data shows. That’s up from 21 strikes in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration. There have been at least 10 additional strikes since Jan. 1, 2018.
The airstrikes were carried out by drones, AC-130 gunships and fighter-bombers.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said the increased level of activity “has killed fighters, eviscerated AQAP’s propaganda network, cut off external support and enabled UAE partners to regain territory.”