Senior al Qaeda leader killed by Central Intelligence Agency drone strike

Davis said Tuesday's strikes targeted militants, equipment, infrastructure, heavy weapons systems and fighting positions.

Thursday's strikes were in the works for a while and did not come from intelligence gathered during the January raid, according to the multiple reports.

People shop at the old market in the historic city of Sana'a, Yemen, January 28, 2017.

The coordinated series of attacks against al-Qaida militants occurred in three Yemeni provinces that have been suspected of being the site of terrorist activity - Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha - according to the Pentagon.

United States spokesmen said the 20 strikes in the areas of Abyan, Al Bayda and Shabwah targeted weapons depots, command centers and heavy weapons such as missiles.

Though Trump provided no specifics, a senior US official said earlier that the intelligence included the group's explosives manufacturing, targeting, training and recruitment practices.

While President Donald Trump has said it was successful in this regard, a USA defense official told CNN that the latest strikes, which it reported were both air and drones strikes, had been planned for some time and were not the result of any intelligence gathered in the raid.

The Pentagon confirmed its forces conducted more than 20 airstrikes in three Yemeni provinces overnight in partnership with the Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

One of the targets was the home of Saad Atef, a local leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In addition to Friday's raids, residents reported two separate gun battles between USA ground troops and al-Qaeda fighters overnight, according to Reuters.

The defense official said the Defense Department, as instructed by President Barack Obama's administration, is not required to announce strikes outside of "areas of active hostility". Owens' father has called for an investigation.

"Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies, ' " Trump said.

Washington regards the Yemen branch as the jihadists' most unsafe and holds it responsible for several plots to carry out attacks in the West.

USA fighter jets pounded al-Qaida targets in Yemen for a second straight day on Friday, security and tribal sources said, as Washington steps up its air war against the jihadists.

  • Leroy Wright