SAN ANTONIO -- Two separate airstrikes in Yemen this month killed eight al-Qaida militants, U.S. Central Command said Friday.

A strike on Tuesday killed six suspected militants in the Shabwah Governorate in central Yemen, while another on Oct. 6 killed two others, also in Shabwah, a Central Command release stated.

The civil war in Yemen has drawn in U.S. forces this month after cruise missiles were fired at American warships from territory held by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. In response, the USS Nitze destroyed three radar sites off the Red Sea coast with Tomahawk missiles, the Pentagon said Oct. 13.

U.S. drone strikes have targeted militants in recent months during the ongoing civil war there. Houthi rebels hold much of the territory in the north, while forces loyal to the current president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, hold southern territory with the assistance of air support from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula, the group targeted in the airstrikes, has taken advantage of the ongoing chaos in Yemen to plan and execute international terrorist attacks. The 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, in which 12 people were killed, was claimed by the group. Nasr al-Ansi, a senior leader of the group, was killed in a drone strike in May 2015, according to The Associated Press. Twitter: @AlexHortonTX

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