News / Middle East

Airstrikes Target al-Qaida in Yemen

Multimedia

Audio

Yemen says its fighter jets struck the home of a prominent al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist, the day after new international sanctions were announced against the group. 

Yemeni government fighter jets launched a series of raids against the fortified compound of a prominent terrorist Ayad al-Shabwani, reportedly destroying the structure.  Militants close to Shabwani claim he survived the raids.

Al-Jazeera TV showed images of the damaged compound, although it was not clear when they were taken.  Missiles appear to have pierced a gaping hole on one side of the mud-brick fortress.

Yemen Post newspaper editor-in-chief Hakim Almasmari indicated air raids have been continuing throughout the day in a bid to kill Shabwani and fellow militants.

"Today, there have been 17 raids inside Maarib, most of them trying to attack Shabwani and his friends.  They are still ongoing," he said.  "Until now, there is only one al-Qaida leader killed. [Yemeni security forces] have troops on the ground, but doing nothing.  Most of the attacks are from the air."

Eyewitnesses say a number of people have been killed in the raids and villagers using anti-aircraft guns are firing back at Yemeni warplanes.

The Yemeni government had reported last week that Shabwani and five other top al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists had been killed in an airstrike on three vehicles in which they were riding.  But a statement from the terrorist group said Shabwani survived.  The group's military chief, Qassem al-Raimi, does appear to have been killed.

In a related development, Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki, who is suspected of ties with Fort Hood bomber Nidal Malik Hassan, reportedly told a Yemeni journalist that he would not surrender.  Hakim Almasmari says that Awlaki continues to deny being a member of al-Qaida.

"He refused any claims of being an al-Qaida member," he said.  "He will not surrender himself, because he does not trust the government that they will not harm him.  But he has some extreme ideas.  He is in Shabwa province in Khor al-Awarib, very massive mountains in Shabwa that are very hard to reach and being guarded by his own tribesmen.  His father is one of the five biggest politicians in Yemen."

Yemeni government TV reported Foreign Minister Abou Bakr al-Qurbi met in Washington with U.S. national security advisor General James Jones, as well as with CIA Director Leon Panetta.  Qurbi, noted, according to the TV, that Yemen had "suffered a great deal from terrorism and will cooperate with the international community in curbing extremism, which threatens the security of the region and of the world."

Meanwhile, Britain has canceled flights to Yemen, indicating the safety of flights to the volatile country could no longer be assured.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs