August 7, 2017 | Quoted by Saeed Al-Batati and Eric Schmitt - The New York Times

Thousands of Yemeni Forces Target Qaeda Stronghold

Thousands of Yemeni troops are conducting a clearing operation aimed at driving Qaeda militants from one of their major strongholds in southern Yemen, according to Arab and American security officials.

The offensive in Shabwa Province started last week and includes about 2,000 Yemeni forces backed by dozens of advisers from the United Arab Emirates, and a handful of United States Special Operations commandos providing intelligence and planning assistance, American officials said.

Since Feb. 28, the United States has conducted about 80 airstrikes against Qaeda militants in Yemen, Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters in Washington on Friday. In 2016, the United States conducted 38 strikes in Yemen, according to the Long War Journal by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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