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US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Qaeda strikes

Forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni president advance towards the entrance of Abyan province as part of an operation to drive Al-Qaeda fighters out of the southern provincial capital, on April 23, 2016The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time Friday it has deployed US troops to Yemen since the country’s collapse last year, in a push to bolster Arab and local government forces battling Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the US military has also stepped up air strikes against AQAP fighters in the war-torn country. A “very small number” of American military personnel has been working from a “fixed location” with Yemeni and Arab coalition forces — especially the Emiratis — in recent weeks around Mukalla, a port city seized by AQAP a year ago, Davis said.

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