>> Yemen reeling Friday after a fresh wave of US airstrikes aimed at rolling back Al Qaeda's advances. The attacks targeting the aggressive AQAP branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The first strikes hitting a village in southern Shabwa Province. A few hours later more strikes reported in nearby Abyan province.
Residents also say US Troops, perhaps special forces were engaged in ground battles with Al Qaeda militants but two US officials deny the operations involved ground combat. The attacks coming after President Trump came under fire for approving a January mission against a Al-Qaeda base in Yemen that went awry, resulting in the deaths of 14 militants but also several civilians and US Navy Seal Ryan Owens.
Analysts have questioned the raids value and while Owen's wife attended Trump's speech to Congress Tuesday, his father has criticized Trump for okaying it. Officials told NBC news the raid failed to capture or kill the Al Qaeda leaders targeted or recover any actionable intelligence but the White House and other officials said they did recover valuable information.
Al Qaeda has exploited Yemen's bloody civil war, which has killed about 10,000 people and left millions starving, to seize new territory and launch more attacks.