US President Donald Trump confirms that the US has killed the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader, Qassem al-Rimi, in a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen. Officials in Yemen have not confirmed the killing.
US President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that US forces had killed the leader of jihadi group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Qassem al-Rimi.
The US "conducted a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qassim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula," Trump said in a White House statement.
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"Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces," Trump said in a statement.
"His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security," he said. He did not say when Rimi was killed.
AQAP claimed responsibility on Sunday for a December shooting at a US naval base in which a Saudi officer killed three sailors. The United States regards AQAP as one of the deadliest branches of the al-Qaida network that founded by Osama bin Laden.
"Rimi joined al-Qaida in the 1990s, working in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden," the statement said. It also described Rimi as a deputy to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, making him the second most important figure in the terrorist organization.
ed/ng (Reuters, AFP)