US aircraft conducted two air strikes inside Yemen within a week, bringing the total number of strikes in that country to 80 in about two months. On April 23, a US drone strike hit al Qaeda militants in the southern part of the country. On April 18, another strike targeted al Qaeda fighters in the north. The US is continuing “ to conduct a series of sustained operations” targeting al Qaeda in the country, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. While the US has a continued ground presence inside Yemen, there has not been a “kinetic ground operation” since the Jan. 29 Navy SEAL raid that resulted in the death of Chief Special Warfare Operator William Owens.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.