British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meanwhile, announced in London the suspension of direct flights from Yemen until further security measures are agreed, in the wake of the Christmas Day Detroit bombing scare.
A Yemeni tribal source confirmed the air strikes on Erq Al-Shabwan village in Maarib province, and said a number of people had been killed. Local forces responded with anti-aircraft fire.
The wave of air strikes, which began in the morning, blasted the house of Ayed al-Shabwani, one of six suspected Al-Qaeda leaders the government said were killed in an air strike last week, the tribal source said.
A military official, who would not be named, said there had been three strikes on the house and one on an orange grove near the village where the authorities think Shabwani set up a safe haven for dozens of Al-Qaeda members.
During the afternoon, witnesses said, jets twice fired missiles into the grove and afterwards continued to overfly the area.
The strikes come just days after Yemen said it killed six suspected leaders, including Shabwani, of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Saada province, north of Sanaa.
AQAP denied anyone was killed in the attack on three 4X4 vehicles in a remote desert area, saying instead that some militants were wounded.
No one commented on whether the government now believed Shabwani had in fact survived that raid.
Yemen is under US pressure to clamp down on Al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the December 25 bid to blow up a flight from Amsterdam as it prepared to land in Detroit.
Britain's Brown said in a statement on counter-terrorism to the House of Commons on Wednesday that in the wake of the failed attack no more direct flights from Yemen would be allowed to land in Britain.
"We have agreed with Yemenia airlines -- pending enhanced security -- that they suspend their direct flights to the UK from Yemen with immediate effect," he said.
Britain's ambassador to Yemen, Tim Torlot, acknowledged to reporters that Sanaa was working on improving aviation security but also warned that an international meeting on Yemen in London on January 27 will not solve all its problems.
"Of course (it) will not solve all the problems of Yemen in two hours... It will not be a pledge conference. There will be no new offers of money, no promises of particular activities. It's the beginning of a process," he said.
Jeffrey Feltman, assistant US secretary of state for near-eastern affairs, told the Senate foreign Relation Committee "the government of Yemen is beset by many challenges," citing unrest in the north and south and an "inconsistent" ability to deliver services to much of the population.
He also called Sanaa's record on human rights, good governance and anti-corruption "wanting."
"We are not naive about our Yemeni partner," he said.
But he praised "a decisive turn by the Yemeni government and a decisive interest by the international community" to help Sanaa battle extremism.
Yemen's government insists it is winning the battle against the jihadists, pointing to two air strikes in December which it said killed more than 60 suspected Al-Qaeda members.
In Washington Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi met US national security adviser James Jones, who reiterated US support for Sanaa's "determined efforts to combat the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaeda," National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said.
Shabwa Governor Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi said dozens of Al-Qaeda fighters were holed up in the province.
Source: AFP Global Edition