The Pentagon acknowledged publicly for the first time that the U.S. military is operating on the ground in Yemen, NBC News reported.
Forces are providing intelligence, maritime support, airborne surveillance and medical aid to the Emirate, Yemeni and Arab coalition battling al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, according to Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesperson.
The deployment, according to Davis, is in response to the growth of AQAP in Yemen. He said four recent counterterror strikes conducted by the U.S. havekilled 10 AQAP operatives.
Davis said this is a new deployment, but didn’t say how many forces are on the ground or where they are operating. A senior defense official said it is a very small number of troops.