The U.S. military targeted ISIS in Yemen, killing 50 fighters in strikes against two training camps in the central part of the country. It was the first time the U.S. had hit ISIS in Yemen.
The strikes involved both drones and manned aircraft, according to a U.S. military official.
The Pentagon made the announcement saying the strikes were made for the purpose of “disrupting the organization’s attempts to train new fighters.”
Just last week, ISIS released a video shot in one of the camps showing training procedures of new recruits – specifically how they appeared to be kicked in the groin to show how tough they are.
“ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” the Pentagon stated.
“ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world,” the statement continued. “For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit.”
Traditionally, al-Qaeda has been very active in Yemen and has been targeted by the U.S. Strikes on both groups are coordinated with the Yemeni government.
In other news, in the on-going battle by the Philippines to liberate the southern city of Marawi from ISIS-affiliated Islamists, the government announced two key terrorist leaders were shot by security forces. Seven other militants were killed in the same battle.
“It will be just a matter of days before it can finally be declared that Marawi has been liberated from the clutches of terrorists,” said Gen. Eduardo Ano of the Philippines Armed Forces at a news conference.
The leaders were identified as Isnilon Hapilon, the group’s emir for Southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, the leader of another group that pledged allegiance to ISIS. The two were killed trying to escape a building in which they were holed up during a four-hour gunfight with the authorities.
Government forces have been battling to retake Marawi from the Islamists since May 23, 2017. In that time, 800 terrorists were killed along with 162 government security forces, Ano said, adding that close to 1,700 hostages were rescued, including 20 on Monday, October 16.