Yemeni troops, backed by air force planes, launched a major offensive against al Qaeda strongholds in the south of the country on Tuesday to try to eradicate the Islamist militant group that had killed hundreds since 2011.
A local official said at least five Yemeni government soldiers were killed in the fighting, in which hundreds of volunteers from a local militia known as the Popular Committees are taking part.
The operation came less than two weeks after more than 55 suspected militants died in a series of air strikes on the militants' main hideout in a remote northern district in Abyan Province, in southern Yemen.
Are we talking 50 soldiers? 500 soldiers? How "major" can Yemen really get?