The unexpected appearance of a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft over Yemen’s capital of Sana’a starting Aug. 6 has focused new attention on the covert war against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that has been unfolding in the nation’s hinterlands for more than two years. “It caused a PR nightmare,” a Yemeni official in Washington said, referring to the audible sound emanating from the aircraft circling the capital. Some panicked residents mistook the unidentifiable ...

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