US special ops step up strikes on al-Qaeda and ISIS, insiders say – ABC News
The Pentagon has quietly ordered new commando deployments to the Middle East and North Africa amid an unprecedented series of American airstrikes in Yemen, counterterrorism officials tell ABC News.
The moves appear to signal that the U.S. military is kicking off a more aggressive counterterrorism campaign — with the encouragement of President Trump — in a stepped up effort against the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group in lawless Yemen, as well as ISIS strongholds in Syria and areas in North Africa where both groups have spread to in recent years, current and former special operations veterans said.
The Trump administration in late January launched the first known ground force operation in Yemen in two years followed by an unprecedented two-dozen or more airstrikes this week targeting al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, including airstrikes Thursday night. This week also saw the killing of al-Qaeda’s overall deputy leader in a U.S. drone strike in northwestern Syria.
A veteran of 20 years of secret military operations said authority to broaden counterterrorism operations overseas had occurred in recent months.
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