Mohammed Jamjoom and Barbara Starr
April 23, 2014

The United States offered extensive assistance beyond drone strikes during a massive anti-terror operation in Yemen, including flying Yemeni commandos to a site where they killed scores of suspected al Qaeda members, a U.S. official said.

U.S. Special Operations troops wore night-vision gear and flew Yemeni forces to a remote, mountainous spot insouthern Yemen, according to a senior U.S. official. The Yemeni helicopters that the U.S. personnel flew were Russian-made, which helped to minimize the U.S. footprint during the operation.

Once there, Yemeni commandos engaged suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the U.S. official said, who added that no Americans took part in actual combat on the ground. This same official identified the American personnel involved as special operations members, who are among the most elite and clandestine in the U.S. military.

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