Jeb Boone and Greg Miller
May 6, 2011
The U.S. military used a drone to strike Thursday at an al-Qaeda target in Yemen, the first such U.S. attack using unmanned aircraft in that country since 2002, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.
Two al-Qaeda operatives were killed in the attack in the remote, mountainous Yemeni governorate of Shabwa early Thursday, a Yemeni security official said.
Drones operated by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command were redeployed in Yemen last year as part of a secret U.S. effort to reinvigorate the hunt for al-Qaeda operatives in the country.
Previous strikes in Yemen over the past 18 months involved cruise missiles fired from naval craft off Yemen’s coast.
Thursday’s attack was “the first drone strike,” a U.S. official said. The aircraft have patrolled portions of Yemen for much of the past year, the official said, but had not launched any missiles because of a lack of sufficient targeting information.
This article was posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 at 2:56 am