U.S. strikes kill Al Qaida militants as Yemen oil refinery resumes operations

by WorldTribune Staff, September 7, 2016

Three American counterterror strikes over a two week period killed 13 Al Qaida jihadists in Yemen, the U.S. military said on Sept. 6.

Yemen resumed operations at its Aden oil refinery on Sept. 4.
Yemen resumed operations at its Aden oil refinery on Sept. 4.

The strikes, carried out from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, targeted Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in central Yemen’s Shabwah Governorate, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. It did not specify how the strikes were carried out or the identities of those killed.

AQAP, which has a large presence in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris last year and has called for “lone wolf attacks” against Western targets.

The leader of AQAP, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, was killed in an American airstrike last June.

Meanwhile, Yemen on Sept. 4 resumed operations at its Aden oil refinery. The150,000 barrels per day refinery had been shut down for more than a year.

“The refinery is back online and is refining 66,000 tonnes from the 1 million barrels it received from the Dabbah port it had in storage from before,” a Yemeni source told Reuters adding the refinery is now operating at half of its processing capacity.

Power stations in Aden have struggled to access fuel since exiled President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s forces drove Iran-backed Houthi rebels out of the port city July last year.

“Now the refinery can begin supplying to the power stations, and be used for other domestic purposes,” the source said.

Yemen, a non-OPEC producer, resumed production and exports from its Masila oilfields on Aug. 11 for the first time since the conflict began more than 16 months ago.

Most foreign oil companies left the country after the war began in March 2015.

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