Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM026-B

Incident date

August 1, 2011

Location

مديرية زنجبار, Al-Khamila, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.128649, 45.339509 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Three drone strikes taking place on August 1st 2011, allegedly by US drones or Yemeni airplanes, killed up to 16 suspected Al Qaeda fighters and wounded up to 32 others in various areas of Zinjibar according to military officials. One report stated that the drones were acting in conjunction with the Yemeni government, but the Yemen Interior Minister said all attacks were carried out by the Yemeni army and the United States was not involved. There are currently no known reports of civilian harm.

There were a series of conflicting reports concerning the strike, as Fahd Othman Aljebzi tweeting as @Aljebzi noted that thirteen individuals were killed, which was supported by a tweet from @AdenLang citing a Reuters report. Albawaba.com reported that a military source told Agence France-Presse that Al Qaeda leader Nader al-Shaddadi was among the possible 16 alleged militants. However, al-Shaddadi was reportedly killed on October 18, 2012 in US drone or Yemeni airstrikes (USYEM131-B).

Local sources noted as many as thirty-two people wounded. Yusra A tweeting as @YusraAIA noted that apparently sixteen suspected Al-Qaeda members were killed and another seventeen wounded over the course of three strikes, while Aljazeera reported that Yemeni government airstrikes killed fifteen suspected Al-Qaeda operatives and destroyed a tank controlled by militants.

Multiple sources, including Albawaba, reported that “the raid destroyed an army armored vehicle, truck, personnel carrier and artillery that Al Qaeda militants had seized during the previous battles.”

The Washington Post identified the locations of the three strikes: “The security and local officials said the first strike targeted the al-Wahdah stadium and surrounding areas. They said it destroyed military equipment that the militants seized during a June 30 battle to control the stadium in which dozens of soldiers and militants were killed. They said the second strike hit the al-Amodiah region between Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan taken over by militants in May, and the city of Jaar. The third attack hit the al-Khamilah area, which the militants also use as a hideout.” Reports that Al-Khamleh and Al-Amudiyah were also struck was corroborated by Elaph, Lebanese Forces, and Radio Sawa. None of the sources specify how many militants were killed in each individual strike.

In an article for The Washington Post, Mohammad Al-Qadhi reported that Yemeni local and security officials claimed the strikes stemmed from US Predator drones, yet Reuters reported that Yemeni warplanes conducted at least one of the strikes, on the village of Al Khamila. Bill Roggio, writing for Long War Journal, reported that unmanned US Predator or Reaper drones carried out the strike, but Yemeni Interior Minister denied that claim. Writing in August 2011, Roggio said the US had carried out ten strikes since December of 2009 and four since May of 2011.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Three different locations are mentioned in reports of this incident. A first strike targeted Al Wahda (Unity) stadium. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to locate Al Wahda stadium. A second strike occurred in Al Amudiya (عمودية) area between Zinjibar and the city of Ja’ar, for which the coordinates are: 13.1351, 45.3635. A third strike took place in Al Khamila village (الخاملة), for which the coordinates are: 13.125000, 45.313889. The coordinates for a mid-point between Al Amudiya and Al Khamila are: 13.128649, 45.339509.

  • Imagery:
    © Google 2019

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–16
  • Belligerents reported injured
    17–32

Sources (22) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–16
  • Belligerents reported injured
    17–32

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM021-C

Incident date

July 5, 2011

Location

جعار, Jaar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.217814, 45.307025 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Additional Geolocations

13.211636, 45.308129 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between two and six civilians were killed and up to seven others were injured in alleged Yemeni or US airstrikes on Ja’ar on July 5, 2011. Four militants were also reportedly killed.

The numbers of dead and wounded varied, as @NoonArabia tweeted that three civilians were killed and seven people were wounded. According to @AdenLang, the death toll in the bombing rose to six after the death of three of the civilians that were wounded.

An air strike hit the house of Deputy Chairman of Parliament, Ali Al-Shaddadi, in Ja’ar on July 5, 2011 and according to Abdullah Al-Maiseri, two civilians were killed. Abdulkader Al-Guneid (@alguneid) tweeted that two Shaddadi brothers were killed in the strike, while Yusra A @YusraAIA tweeted that Al-Shaddadi’s brother-in-law was killed.

Sahafanet reported that according to the Al-Arabiya correspondent, deputy speaker of the Yemeni parliament Muhammad al-Shaddadi’s home was hit with airstrikes, killing three of his relatives and wounding seven others.

Al-Guneid also stated that the Health Institute building was hit with four people wounded, while Sahafanet stated that the health institute located next to Al-Razi Hospital was struck and led to the killing of four militants affiliated with jihadist Sami Dayan.

Multiple tweets from local sources, including @YusraAlA and @NoonArabia, directly alleged that the US carried out drone strike in Jaar on the same date.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jaar (جعار), for which the generic coordinates are: 13.217814, 45.307025. Sources also mention the Al Razi Hospital (مستشفى الرازي), for which the generic coordinates are: 13.211636, 45.308129. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YEMYEM002

Incident date

March 15, 2010

Location

مودية, Moudia, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.948639, 46.202048 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

An alleged Yemeni strike on a suspected Al Qaeda training camp in the Modia district, Abyan province on March 15th 2010 killed up to 20 civilians, according to local media. This strike came a day after another strike on the Modia district on March 14th (USYEM010-B).

Al Jazeera reported that local officials stated that security forces launched three raids in the southern province of Abyan, including the Modia district.

Local residents told AFP that the attacks on consecutive days had caused an unspecified number of civilian casualties. A Reuters report reported that residents told Reuters that up to 20 civilians may have been killed in the attacks on the Abyan province. References to civilian casualties do not specify whether they occurred during the March 14th strikes (USYEM010-B) or on the March 15th strikes.

The AFP report stated: “Yemen’s air force launched a second successive day of air strikes on Monday, targeting a suspected A-Qaeda training camp in the same area, the defence ministry said. A brief ministry statement said the raids were carried out in Moudia, but did not confirm whether anyone was killed or wounded in the latest strike. “Furthermore AFP clarified that Jet fighters flew over the province, which is dominated by southern separatists.”

However, a security official, who asked not to be named, “said the disfigured remains of those killed in the strikes had been transported to the capital for DNA testing, and suggested the death toll could be as high as nine people.”

AFP went on to say that “Moudia residents AFP reached by telephone alleged the raids caused civilian casualties, but fell short of giving figures. Some said they fled their homes in fear of being targeted by the strikes.”

The incident occured in the morning.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Moudia (مودية) district, for which the generic coordinates are: 13.948639, 46.202048. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–9

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–9

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YEMYEM001

Incident date

January 20, 2010

Location

عرق ال شبوان, Erq al Shabwan, Ma'rib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.51479, 45.37014 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to two people were killed by an alleged Yemeni airstrike, targeting the home of al-Shabwani, a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the Mareb province in Erq al Shabwan the morning of January 20th, 2010. It is unclear whether all of those killed were belligerents or if civilians, in addition to belligerents, were killed in the operation.

The alleged incident casts doubts on the Yemini government’s assertions that Al-Shabwani and al-Raimi, Al Qaeda’s military chief, had been killed in an airstrike five days earlier (USYEM007-B).

According to a tribal source commenting on the alleged incident, an unspecified number of people were killed but did not state whether they were civilians or not.

The Yemeni government reported that they targeted the home and farm of Al-Shabwani with four raids, three on the house and one on an orange grove near the village and house of Al-Shabwana which is suspected to house a dozen Al Qaeda members. Furthermore, Sana´a officials revealed that there was an exchange of fire by the Al Qaeda members with an anti-aircraft weapon.

The Yemeni government had claimed just a week prior that they had killed Al-Shabwani. However, The Nation and France24 later reported that Al-Shabwani was killed during a battle with the army on July 20, 2011.

Herald Net stated that the alleged airstrike targeted two of the most wanted Al Qaeda figures, Al-Shabwani and al-Raimi, for the second time that week. According to Herald Net “Al-Raimi was described as one of Yemen’s most-wanted militants accused of plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador. Yemeni officials have said he escaped a government attack on him last month.”

The Long War Journal quoted the editor of the Yemen Post as saying that Shabwani had been the primary target of several recent attacks. It also stated that an orange grove near Shabwani’s home was hit, where “Al Qaeda fighters were reportedly sheltering”.

A Yemeni tribal source confirmed the airstrikes in Erq Al Shabwan village to news agency AFP, and said a “number of people had been killed”. However, the source did not give the combat status of these people.

Yemen Post editor Hakim Almasmari told Voice of America that there had been 17 raids throughout the day, targeting Shabwani. “They are still ongoing…Until now, there is only one Al Qaida leader killed. [Yemeni security forces] have troops on the ground, but doing nothing. Most of the attacks are from the air,” he said.

Voice of America added that “militants close to Shabwani claim he survived the raids.” In addition, “Al-Jazeera TV showed images of the damaged compound, although it was not clear when they were taken. Missiles appear to have pierced a gaping hole on one side of the mud-brick fortress.”

The incident occured in the morning.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Erq Al Shabwan (عرق آل شبوان), for which the generic coordinates are: 15.51479, 45.37014. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (9) [ collapse]