US military admits troops are operating inside Yemen to combat al-Qaida

The US military has for the first time publicly acknowledged that US troops are operating inside Yemen to help the country’s government and a Saudi-backed coalition confront al-Qaida affiliated forces.

Defense department spokesman Navy captain Jeff Davis said on Friday that a “very small number” of military personnel has in recent weeks been working with Yemeni and Arab Coalition forces to push al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters from the port city of Mukalla.

The Pentagon has stepped up air strikes against the jihadists in the war-torn country, Davis said.

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