WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yemeni officials say the country has asked for expanded U.S. counterterrorism aid, including drone strikes and more U.S. military trainers and advisers, to fight a growing threat from al-Qaida.
But the officials said Wednesday that Yemen rejected a CIA and U.S. military request to expand the use of drone strikes to target groups of fighters who appear to be militants.
Currently, U.S. counterterrorism forces are limited to striking clearly identified individuals with known links to al-Qaida. Yemen approves each strike, Yemeni and U.S. officials say.
U.S. officials say the CIA and U.S. military had asked the White House for permission to target larger groups if intelligence points to al-Qaida-related activity, as the CIA does in Pakistan's tribal regions.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive strategic matters.
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