The Pentagon said Tuesday that the U.S. killed seven al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen last month, in two air strikes that were just announced.

The strikes were conducted solely by the United States under the presidential authorization to go after terrorists whenever and wherever they can be found, said Pentagon Spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis.

Both strikes targeted members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or "AQAP," near central Yemen.

A strike on July 8 was said to have killed one AQAP operative, while a second strike July 16 killed six operatives and injured one other.

A statement released by the U.S. Central Command in Tampa said, "AQAP remains a significant threat to the region, the United States and beyond. Al-Qaeda's presence has a destabilizing effect on Yemen; it is using the unrest in Yemen to provide a haven from which to plan future attacks against our allies as well as the U.S. and its interests."

The Pentagon said the strikes are part of a continuing effort degrade, disrupt and destroy al-Qaeda, and deny it safe haven regardless of its location.