US has boots on the ground in Yemen sifting through the rubble after drone attacks on al Qaeda
U.S. military personnel has been on the ground in Yemen sifting through the aftermath of recent drone strikes, helping to retrieve bodies and data from the scene of a handful of weekend drone strikes carried out by the CIA, a source told Fox News on Tuesday.One of the problems with that kind of video is that the enemy can lose the ambiguity of his location and specific information can be deadly. While the story does not say so directly, it appears that US special forces were very active in the operations.
Separately, Fox News has learned that U.S. pilots provided airlift to Yemeni troops via Russian-built MI8 helicopters overnight for a separate ambush on a vehicle believed to be carrying top Al Qaeda militants.
The missions follow the recent targeting of suspected terrorists in the country. On Monday, a suspected U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen killed 68 people, a Yemeni government official said Tuesday, though a list compiled on preliminary DNA testing was not yet complete. The official emphasized that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leadership was not the target of the raid.
But a list of the dead, now being circulated among Jihadi social media in Yemen, does include what are described as “high value” targets, including a senior recruiter and religious scholar. The names are being reviewed by US intelligence officials.
In another Yemen-related development, a Yemeni government official confirmed to Fox News that a recent propaganda video released by Al Qaeda in Yemen was a "gold mine" for intelligence, revealing the faces of operatives, identifying their vehicles, the license plates and their location in the rugged mountains of the south, an area that is largely outside the Yemeni government's control and similar to the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. The source characterizes the video as an apparent “miscalculation” by Al Qaeda in Yemen, helping the security forces narrow the focus of the operation, which came in three waves over the weekend.