US Kills 7 Al-Qaida Terrorists In First Yemen Operation Since Botched SEAL Raid

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Steven Hitchcock)

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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An intelligence-gathering raid killed seven al-Qaida terrorists Tuesday in the Arabian Peninsula in the first acknowledged U.S. ground operation in Yemen since a botched January Navy SEAL raid, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The U.S. and Yemeni governments ran the raid jointly, and reportedly included U.S. Navy SEAL operatives with other special operations troops. “Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP’s [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP,” the Pentagon said in its statement on the raid.

The raid’s primary purpose was to gather electronic intelligence from the terrorist group, a defense official told NBCNews. The SEALs reportedly encountered a significant firefight after they landed. AQAP is an active affiliate of the al-Qaida network and is well known for planning complex external attacks on the West.

Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen is one of its deadliest affiliates, and has tried to execute several advanced terror plots against the U.S. and its allies. The group also published a propaganda magazine, which included an explosives manual that was used by Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The raid is the first one authorized since the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens in a botched January raid on the same terrorist group. Multiple other SEALs were injured in the raid and dozens of civilians were killed after a vicious firefight broke out with the terrorist group.

Reports indicated at the time that the government of Yemen was considering cutting off the U.S. ability to conduct ground operations in the country, after outrage erupted among Yemeni’s at the number of civilian deaths.

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