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Trump: U.S. Forces Kill Leader of Yemeni Al-Qaeda

A combo photo shows two undated pictures of a military chief of the Al-Qaeda network in Yemen, identified as Qassim al-Raymi

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States killed the leader of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) extremist group in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

Trump said in a statement on February 6 that Qassim al-Raymi’s death will weaken the terror group in its region and Al-Qaeda globally. He did not say when Raymi was killed.

"Under Raymi, 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.

"His death further degrades AQAP and the global Al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security," he said.

Raymi succeeded Nasser al-Wuhayshi as military commander of AQAP after Wuhayshi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2015.

In his first speech as new leader in July 2015, Raymi called for attacks on the United States.

"You Americans, the more you kill from us, the more determined we become. Each leader you kill, there is one to replace," Raymi said in an audio recording at the time.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa