Yemeni tribal fighters have reportedly killed several American troops after they launched a heliborne attack on a village in Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib, a report says.
According to a report by Yemen’s Khabar news agency website, at least 30 troops from the US and some Persian Gulf states, were deployed in the rural area of Khathla in the early hours of Tuesday and engaged in a gun battle with fighters from two prominent tribes in the village.
It added that during the ensuing fierce battle at least seven of the invading troops were fatally injured, who had come there with the purported mission of gunning down militants belonging to the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Takfiri terrorist group.
The report, however, added that no militants of the terror group were in the area when three Apache choppers and two military transport aircraft of the US approached the village.
Earlier in the day, Centcom, the US military command in the Middle East, however, told a totally different story, saying the heliborne attack concluded with killing of seven AQAP militants, without mentioning any casualties from the American troops and the presence of soldiers from some Persian Gulf states.
However, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis later said at a press conference that multiple American forces sustained injuries, but added that the wounds they had received were not serious enough to require medical evacuation.
According to Davis, the Tuesday attack was the first US ground assault in Ma’rib and its deepest in the Yemeni territories to purportedly target AQAP militants.
Yemen has been under regular US drone strikes, with Washington claiming to be targeting al-Qaeda elements, while local sources say civilians have been the main victims.
Yemen has also been under military strikes in a prolonged war imposed by Saudi Arabia and a number of its client states since late March 2015. The US has been providing assistance to that war, too.