US troops played key role in Yemen rescue mission

Yemen Security Forces Free U.S. Military Expert Abducted By Militants

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior defense official says U.S. special operations forces and Yemeni counterterrorism troops rescued eight hostages held by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen.

The raid on Tuesday was carried out jointly by the U.S. and Yemeni forces in a mission not publicly announced by Washington. The U.S. role was first reported by The New York Times, which said about two dozen U.S. commandos were involved.

The U.S. defense official who confirmed the U.S. role spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the secret mission by name.

No Americans were among the eight people rescued, the official said.

The Yemeni government said Tuesday that its soldiers killed seven suspected militants from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in the rescue mission.

5 PHOTOS
Violence in Yemen - last updated 2/10/2015 - w/vid at top
See Gallery
US troops played key role in Yemen rescue mission
Yemeni employees of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa said on Tuesday the ambassador had informed staff the mission is closing down, amid deepening turmoil since the resignation of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government last month. They said the ambassador informed them that Washington may ask the Turkish or Algerian embassies in Sanaa to look after U.S. interests in the country while the embassy was closed.
SANA'A, YEMEN - JANUARY 27: Security forces stand guard outside the U.S. embassy which is closed until further notice due to the security reasons in Sana'a, Yemen on January 27, 2015. U.S. officials warn its citizens to leave the country. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Yemeni honor guards carry coffins of the victims of recent attacks by al-Qaeda militants during a funeral procession on November 26, 2014 in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have in recent months stepped up attacks against Yemeni troops in the volatile south of the country. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemeni honor guards carry coffins of the victims of recent attacks by al-Qaeda militants during a funeral procession on November 26, 2014 in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have in recent months stepped up attacks against Yemeni troops in the volatile south of the country. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemeni security forces hold a position as they guard outside a court during a hearing for Al-Qaeda suspects accused of undermining state security at their trial in Sanaa on November 25, 2014. A US soldier was freed by Yemeni forces just hours after being captured in an Al-Qaeda attack on an air base in the violence-wracked country, military officials said. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

More in the news:
U.S. jobless claims rise above 300,000 last week
Europe feels sting in the tail of Russia sanctions
Putin's tiger kills 15 goats in northeast China

Read Full Story