U.S. military admits troops are operating inside Yemen to combat Al Qaeda

Defense department spokesman Navy captain Jeff Davis said on Friday that a “very small number” of military personnel has in recent weeks been working with Yemeni and Arab Coalition forces to push al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters from the port city of Mukalla.

The Pentagon has stepped up air strikes against the jihadists in the war-torn country, Davis said.

“This is of great interest to us. It does not serve our interests to have a terrorist organization in charge of a port city, and so we are assisting in that,” the spokesman added.

He said the troops were helping Emirati forces with “intelligence support”, but declined to say if they are special operations forces.