The United States has carried out airstrikes in Yemen, Yemen’s foreign minister told a pan-Arab newspaper in an interview published Thursday, marking that government’s first official confirmation of a U.S. military role in its fight against terrorism.
Al-Qirbi further said that Yemen would not extradite U.S.-born radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to the United States if he were captured. Although the U.S. has requested extradition, Yemen’s constitution forbids extradition of Yemeni citizens to another country.
However, al-Awlaki is being pursued by Yemen authorities in their efforts against al-Quida, and is one of the individuals they have targeted for capture.
Last week, Yemen’s deputy prime minister for defense and security, Rashad al-Alimi, claimed that the United States and Britain had provided aid to Yemen, but asserted there was no U.S. military presence in Yemen.
The U.S. Defense Department has not confirmed the strikes.
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