A man (center), displays the clothes of a victim as he inspects a house destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike on the outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP photo)
The United States has carried out airstrikes for a second consecutive day against suspected al-Qaeda targets in Yemen, according to the US Defense Department, leaving an unknown number of civilians injured.
The US military conducted over 30 strikes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula over the past two nights in Shabwah, Abyan and Bayda provinces, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said at a news briefing on Friday.
“This is part of a plan to go after this very real threat and ensure they are defeated," Davis said.
"Make no mistake, while we talk a lot about ISIS (ISIL), AQAP is the organization that has more American blood on its hands. It is a deadly terrorist organization that has proven itself to be very effective in targeting and killing Americans," he added.
The AQAP has taken advantage of the chaos and breakdown of security in Yemen to tighten its grip on the southern and southeastern parts of the crisis-hit country.
Residents in a village in Shabwah province say the American attacks targeted civilian homes and wounded an unknown number of people, including women and children.
Yemeni sources said that eight suspected al-Qaeda militants were also killed in the strikes.
The US has carried out drone strikes against alleged AQAP militants for years, but civilians frequently fall victim to such attacks.
The US drone strikes in Yemen are carried out alongside the Saudi military aggression against the impoverished conflict-ridden country.
Before the beginning of the US-backed Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen back in late March 2015, Houthi fighters and their allies had been gaining significant ground in the battle against al-Qaeda terrorists.
 In November 2014, Yemeni popular resistance fighters managed to flush al-Qaeda terrorists out of their traditional stronghold in Radaa, a district in al-Bayda governorate.
However, due to Saudi-led strikes against Houthi fighters in mainly residential areas, al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists have been bolstered, consolidating their grip in southern Yemen.
The latest American airstrikes come a month after a US raid that killed a US Navy SEAL, injured six American soldiers and led to the destruction of a $75 million military aircraft.
The attack also killed about 30 Yemeni civilians, including 10 women and children.
The White House hailed the operation as a success, but critics said it was a failure since it resulted in the death of civilians and 36-year-old Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.
US President Donald Trump has tried to distance himself from the raid by emphasizing that the operation had been in the works long before he took office.
During his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Trump paid tribute to the fallen SEAL, and insisted that the operation yielded valuable intelligence that would "lead to many more victories in the future."

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