US Forces in Yemen

Mabkhout Ali al Ameri with his 18-month old son Mohammed, shortly after a botched US raid on al Ghayil in January 2017 had killed at least 20 villagers, including Mohammed's mother Fatim Saleh Mohsen. © Iona Craig

Belligerent
US Forces
Country
Yemen
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Strike Status
Strike Type
Infrastructure

Incident Code

USYEMTr026-C

Incident date

March 2–3, 2017

Location

يكلا, Yakla, Al Bayda, Yemen

Geolocation

14.594167, 45.067500 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Multiple sources suggested that US airstrikes targeted alleged AQAP militants in al-Ghail village and in the broader Yakla area of Qaifa, Bayda governorate, overnight from March 2nd to March 3rd, killing at least three alleged militants. Some sources reported that there was an unspecified number of civilian casualties.

Local sources reported that the overnight strikes targeted the home of Sheikh Abdelilah Ahmed Nasser al-Dhahab, which had previously been reportedly targeted in a US strike early on March 2nd (USYEMTr018).  According to these sources, three of al-Dhahab’s “guards” were killed in the evening strike, named as Salah Salah al-Ayashi, Yaqoub al-Shahri, and Yahya al-Shahri. The Intercept reported that the three casualties were members of al-Dhahab’s extended family, from al Manasa village. According to multiple sources, al-Dhahab himself was not present in Yakla at the time of the strike, having been fighting in Marib since mid-February.

One local language source indicated that there were “civilian martyrs” in Yakla, while another mentioned “the killing of women and children”, though it was unclear whether this referred to casualties from this strike specifically. Airwars’ minimum civilian casualty assessment has therefore been set at four, including at least two women and two children, though this assessment has been graded as “weak” to reflect the lack of claims. Sources variously reported that “more than thirty” and “over fifty” strikes were conducted in Yakla overnight by US helicopters and drones. These reported strikes allegedly took place in conjunction with other reported US strikes across the Qaifa region.

Al-Ghail was previously the target of a US (and allegedly, Emirati) ground raid on January 29th 2017 which had resulted in the deaths of at least twenty civilians, including eleven children. Reportedly amongst the dead were several relatives of Abdul Ilah al-Dhahab, including his son Nasser; his niece Nawar al-Awlaki; and two of his brothers, alleged AQAP militants Sultan and Abd-al-Ra’uf al-Dhahab. Multiple sources, however, disputed that the latter two were affiliated with AQAP, instead suggesting that they were instead involved with pro-Hadi militia forces.

This reported action took place amid a dramatic intensification of US operations against AQAP. On March 3rd, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davies announced that more than thirty strikes had been conducted since March 2nd in Yemen. On the same day, Associated Press reported that Yemeni officials and residents said that the US had conducted “dozens of airstrikes on al-Qaida targets in Yemen overnight and in the past 48 hours in one of the lengthiest, sustained operations inside this conflict-torn Arab country”.

A US military intelligence source told NBC News that the strikes beginning March 2nd were “part of ‘new directives’ to aggressively pursue the Dhahab and Qayfa clans”.

In their May 2018 annual civilian casualty report, the US Department of Defense stated that “there were credible reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. military actions in Yemen against AQAP and ISIS during 2017”, but did not specify which specific actions these reports referred to.  Overall, the Department of Defense assessed that there were credible reports of “approximately 499 civilians killed and approximately 169 civilians injured during 2017”, as a result of US military actions in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

Responding to Airwars’ publication of its Yemen dataset and accompanying report in October 2020, CENTCOM dismissed all but two civilian harm claims under President Trump, asserting that “USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020… The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen.   Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review.”

The incident occured during the night.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Yakla (يكلا), for which the coordinates are: 14.594167, 45.067500. 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 harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Nov 5, 2020
  • Via email: U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) continues to focus on ways to minimize civilian casualties during its military operations. We assess or review all reports of civilian casualties because such assessments or reviews help us identify ways to improve our operations and counter misinformation and propaganda. We routinely share the results of every one of our assessments in Department of Defense (DoD) reports to Congress, including annual reports, many of which are publicly available. We also share the results of our assessments or reviews with the public via the USCENTCOM website and our statements to the media. Individuals wishing to understand U.S. military operations in Yemen more fully should consult these official sources of information. USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020. Of the information AirWars provided, one strike on September 14, 2017, was assessed to have caused injuries to two civilians. Also, as previously released by USCENTCOM to the public in February 2017, USCENTCOM acknowledged there may have been civilian casualties during a raid on January 29, 2017. The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen. Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review. Consistent with our mission, our authorities, and our obligations under the law of war, USCENTCOM will continue to conduct military actions in Yemen when required to protect the Nation and our allies and partners from al Qa’ida and ISIS terror cells that are committed to inflicting terror. In every strike and raid, we take careful measures to minimize civilian harm and take responsibility for our actions. When our military operations result in reports of civilian harm, we will continue to assess the credibility of such reports to help us identify ways to improve our operations and respond as appropriate.

Original strike reports

US Forces

The U.S. military conducted precision strikes today in Yemen against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to target the dangerous terrorist group that is intent on attacking the West, a Pentagon spokesman said.

With today's actions, the United States has carried out more than 30 strikes in Yemen since yesterday against the terrorist group, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters.

"These counterterrorism strikes were conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen," Davis said, adding, "U.S. forces will continue to target [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] militants and facilities in order to disrupt the terrorist organization's plots and ultimately to protect American lives."

The results of the strikes are still being assessed, Davis said.

Aimed At Degrading Terrorist Capabilities

The aim of the strikes is to keep the pressure on the terrorists and deny them access and freedom of movement within traditional safe havens, Davis said. "They've taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct and inspire terrorist attacks against the United States," he added. "We'll continue to work with the government of Yemen and our partners on the ground to defeat [the organization] and deny it the ability to operate."

The actions since have targeted militants, equipment and infrastructure in the governorates of Abyan, Al Bayda and Shabwah and will degrade the terrorist group's ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit its ability to use territory seized from Yemen’s legitimate government as a safe space for terror plotting, the captain said.

U.S. forces have not been involved in or near any firefights in Yemen since late January, Davis said. In that January operation, Navy Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens was killed and three other U.S. service members were wounded.

Extremely Dangerous al-Qaida Affiliate

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula remains an extremely dangerous al-Qaida affiliate, and is taking advantage of the chaos in the country from the civil war there, Davis said, noting that the organization “has more American blood on its hands" than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria does.

Davis said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is a "deadly terrorist organization that has proven itself to be very effective in targeting and killing Americans, and they have intent and aspirations to continue doing so."

The organization is integral to al-Qaida and remains intent on attacking Western targets, specifically the United States, a defense official said, speaking on background.

Total group strength in Yemen is in the "low thousands," the official said, adding that it remains a local and regional threat and directly contributes to the instability inside Yemen.

"This is a dangerous group locally, regionally and transnationally, to include against the United States, the West and our allies," the official said.

The terrorists have "skillfully exploited the disorder in Yemen to build its strength and reinvigorate its membership and training," the official said, noting that because members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula tend to be from Yemen, they can blend in with the tribes there.

There have been notable successes against the group, the official said, including killing some of its key leaders.

Iraq Update

In other news, Davis updated reporters on progress in Iraq in liberating western Mosul from ISIS. Iraqi forces have cut across Highway 1, effectively isolating Mosul from the Syrian city of Raqqa, he said. Some areas in the north are still ISIS-controlled, he said, so Mosul is not completely severed from Raqqa.

"But in terms of having a road, that road is now cut," he said.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM023-N

Incident date

July 14, 2011

Location

بين زنجبار‎ و شقرة, Between Zinjibar and Shaqra, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.2476458, 45.530709 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

An airstrike on a car targeted Fahd al Qusaa, also known as Quso, an al Qaeda leader and suspect in the USS Cole bombing. It was a US attack, according to the New York Times quoting an AQAP representative. He claimed that Qusaa had left the car minutes earlier and was unharmed.

According to the Long War Journal, Qusaa was being sheltered by the Awlaki tribe, and was allegedly involved in the failed AQAP airline bombing attack over Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009. Yemeni journalist Nasser Arrabyee claimed that the car was travelling between Shakra and Zinjibar in Abyan Province.

This incident was identified by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and has been included in Airwars’ database even though no casualties are mentioned.

The incident occured around dawn.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck between the village of Shaqra (شقرة) and the city of Zinjibar (زنجبار‎ ). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for this middle point are: 13.2476458, 45.530709.

{"type":"FeatureCollection","features":[{"type":"Feature","properties":{"label":"Shoqra شُقرة","label-type":"black-white"},"geometry":{"coordinates":[45.698859857198165,13.35732480761884],"type":"Point"}},{"type":"Feature","properties":{"label":"Zinjibar زنجبار","label-type":"black-white"},"geometry":{"coordinates":[45.38832158502853,13.13520023596864],"type":"Point"}}]}

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (4) [ 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
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM042-C

Incident date

October 14, 2011

Location

حريب, Harib district, Ma'rib, Yemen

Geolocation

14.901509, 45.379398 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Saleh Qaid Toayman and his 14-year-old son Jalal were reportedly killed in an alleged overnight US airstrike in Azzan on October 14, 2011, according to local reports.

Saleh and Jalal were grazing camels “in an area known to be controlled by Al Qaeda,’” and had then slept by a mosque, according to Toayman’s 15-year-old son Azzedine, who survived the strike. One strike hit their car and was quickly followed by a second attack, Azzedine told NPR: “I heard a huge explosion. But I stayed where I was, hidden under a tyre. I did not move until the morning. Then, when I woke up, I was scared. I went to see my father and my brother. They were scattered into pieces.”

Saleh Toayman had fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s but the family claimed that he had recently renounced ties with the group, adding that he had been employed by Yemeni intelligence for a time. “If they wanted to arrest him – or even kill him – they knew where he lived,” one relative stated. “Why did they have to kill him like this?” Toayman’s eldest son was reported to have joined Ansar al Sharia following the strike.

According to The Guardian, “Saleh, and his 17-year-old son Jalal were killed in a drone strike after they drove into the desert to find some missing camels. Another brother who was with them – Ezzaldeen, 14 – escaped the blast and hid until morning, when he found the two shattered bodies.” The Guardian added that Saleh Toayman left behind three wives and 27 children. One of Saleh’s children, Meqdad, told The Guardian: “After our father died, Al Qaeda came to us to offer support. But we are not with them.”

US Central Command and the CIA declined comment on the Toaymans’ case. A Pentagon spokesman said that Yemen had not yet been designated a formal battlefield. “Day-to-day US operations in Yemen are authorized by the commander, US Central Command, based on authorities granted by the president and secretary of defense,” said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman.

The incident occured during the night.

The victims were named as:

16 years old male Son of Saleh Qayed Taeiman killed
65 years old male killed

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Hareeb/Harib (حريب) district in the governorate of Ma’rib (مَأْرِب) in Yemen. The generic coordinates for the Harib (حريب) district are: 14.901509, 45.379398. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available, Airwars was unable to verify the location further.

  • Harib (حريب) district in Ma’rib governorate.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • 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
    US Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Azzedine Saleh Qaid, 15, witnessed the killing of his father and brother in an airstrike last Oct. 14. Azzedine says he now wants revenge against America for the deaths. Kelly McEvers/NPR
  • Some of the 26 children of Saleh Qaid Toayman, who was killed with one of his sons in an airstrike on Oct. 14, 2011. The family says the eldest son, Azzedine, has joined an al-Qaida-affiliated group to avenge the father's death. The group's black banner hangs in the family's home. The family says the militant group gives them a monthly stipend. Kelly McEvers/NPR

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • 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
    US Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM080-B

Incident date

May 14, 2012

Location

لودر, Lawdar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.88149, 45.868922 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A moving vehicle was struck by missiles that were fired near Lawdar town in the province of Abyan on the 14th of May 2012. Six “militants” perished in the strike which was allegedly carried out by a Yemeni or US aircraft. There are no reports of civilian harm at this moment.

Officials reported anonymously to the Associated Press that the death toll of the militants was six and this information was corroborated by members of the Popular Resistance Committees to AFP.

While some sources blamed Yemen, the Yemen Air Force reportedly lacks any ability to launch precision strikes on moving vehicles. This casts doubt on whether strikes were carried out by the US or Yemeni forces.

A militant leader named al-Muhajir was declared dead in an incident later on but it is unclear whether this occurred in USYEM079-B or in this incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that a moving vehicle was targeted in the outskirts of the town Lawdar (لودر) in the governorate Abyan (أبين‎). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the town of Lawdar (لودر) are: 13.88149, 45.868922.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
    6

Sources (5) [ 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
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
    6

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM131-B

Incident date

October 18, 2012

Location

الرميلة, Rumaila, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.248986, 45.300528 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In a dawn attack, a series of missiles from an alleged unmanned airstrike were fired at targets on the outskirts of Jaar, apparently striking Al Qaeda militants on the verge of launching a suicide attack on military targets. The alleged US drone or Yemeni airstrike attack hit a farmhouse in the Wadi Anna bridge area, Northwest of Jaar and 2 kilometers away from a Yemeni military post that belongs to the 119 brigade according to Barakish.

Sources did not report any civilians harmed or killed, yet reports state that between 7 and 9 alleged Al Qaeda members were killed. USA Today reported 7 killed and three injured, Xinhua and Al Jazeera reported 8 killed and six injured. All other reports state that 9 alleged Al Qaeda members were killed. There was no civilian harm reported by local or international sources.

Two of those killed were wearing explosive belts, security sources told Reuters; anonymous officials confirmed to AP that the strikes ‘followed tips from locals of an imminent al-Qaeda attack on the town’. Reuters reported three separate strikes targeted a farmhouse, although ANI/Xinhua claimed the strikes hit two separate gatherings of alleged Al Qaeda militants and AP quoted locals saying they had seen two cars ablaze. An unnamed official and residents claimed the missiles were fired by a US drone, although eyewitnesses told ANI/Xinhua they had seen military planes flying overhead at the time of the attack. The Yemeni Ministry of Defense claimed the attack was carried out by the Yemeni 119th Infantry Brigade, although it is common for the Yemeni government to claim responsibility for attacks carried out by the US on its turf. Reuters also pointed out that local residents had said that the Yemeni troops only arrived at the scene after the air strikes. The New York Times reported that security officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the aircraft was American-operated.

Residents told Reuters they had found ‘six charred bodies and the scattered remains of three others’, while AP and others reported ’at least seven’ killed. Several sources named Nader al-Shaddadi, who was said to be a senior Al Qaeda militant, as being killed; Barakish and Aden al Ghad both named Morsel Mohsen Hassan and Kamal Ali Abker as being killed. Barakish also named Adan Ahmed Ali al Sha’ar and Awadh Hamman, adding that four further bodies had not been identified. Aden al Ghad named Abdullah Hussein Yousif Somali, Arfan al Shaher and Mohammed al Shaher. Reuters later said that five of the alleged militants killed were local teenagers from Jaar itself, who used the farmhouse as a typical sleeping cell. Adengad reported that members of the Popular Committees transferred the bodies of the victims to Al-Razi Hospital.

After the attack, there were reports that hundreds of Jaar’s residents, both men and women, gathered in front of the headquarters of the resistance committees in Jaar and fired in the air to celebrate Shadadi’s death. One resident told AFP that Shadadi, a Jaar resident himself, “had brought great harm to our city and he is responsible for all the devastation and the war” in the area.’ Akhbaralyom stated that after the incident, some locals of Jaar ‘looted aid for the poor and displaced families distributed by the Red Cross’.

The incident occured around dawn.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that a farm in the northwestern outskirts of the town of Ja’ar (جعار) was targeted, at a few kilometers distance from a military post. Sources also mention the village of Rumaila (الرميلة) and Al Jisr (الجسر), and the Jabal Ain and Wadi Bena/Bina (وادي بناء) areas. Airwars was unable to locate Al Jisr, Jabal Ain and Wadi Bena. However, the coordinates for the village of Rumaila (الرميلة) are: 13.248986, 45.300528.

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
    7–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–6

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a victim of alleged US or Yemeni airstrikes on October 18, 2012 (Image posted by akhbaralyom-ye.net)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of a victim of alleged US or Yemeni airstrikes on October 18, 2012 (Image posted by Adengad)

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
    7–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–6

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM015-C

Incident date

May 9, 2011

Location

الميراب, al Mirab, Taiz, Yemen

Geolocation

13.710239, 44.056858 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Ali Alkhadr (14 years old) was injured by shrapnel from an alleged US air-strike on May 9th, 2011 near the village al-Mihrab.

Al-Akhbar reported on the incident stating that the shrapnel tore Alkhadr´s jaw open when he was returning from a family visit in al-Mihrab village. It was reported that Doctors without Borders provided 1 million Yemeni Riyal ($4,660) for reconstructive surgency, for the once studious teenager.

As a result of the attack Ali dropped out of school and his father claimed that he had to hospitalise his son because of a drug overdose, as he believes his son wanted to end his life, after Ali fell into depression. Furthermore the father was quoted as saying: “He refuses to see his classmates because he is disfigured. It’s been eight months and there is nothing I can do to help my son,” said the boy’s father. “He does not want to go to school and one time I hospitalized him because he overdosed on drugs. I believe he wanted to end his life, and it pains me to see that. I don’t know what to do,” he added.

The incident involving Ali was mentioned in an article about US involvement in Yemen, indicating that this incident was carried out by the US.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Ali Alkhadr
14 years old male injured

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Mirab or Al Mihrab. Due to limited information available, we were unable to verify the coordinates, as several villages have the same or a similar name. There are three possible villages the reports are referring to. Their coordinates are: 13.73732, 43.72378; 14.04897, 44.13587 or 13.45457, 44.04858. The coordinates for a mid point between these villages are: 13.710239, 44.056858.

  • Imagery:
    © Google 2019

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMBi006

Incident date

February 6, 2022

Location

الكولة, Al Kawlah, Ma'rib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.54686, 45.41379 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On February 6th 2022, an alleged US drone strike was reported to have struck a car with Al-Qaeda members inside, possibly including a ” suspected leader.”  All passengers – reported as Al-Qaeda militants – in the car were reported to have been “killed and wounded”, and civilian casualties were also reported of those “who were near the operation.” Although multiple sources reported that “civilians” were harmed, it is not clear how many were killed and injured as a result of this drone strike, at this stage.

The drone strike targeted the car in the Al Kola area in Wadi Ubayda, in the Mareb governorate of north Yemen.

A tweet from @Islandcorner2 as well as Fromo2g News referenced “civilians who were near the operation” as being victims of the drone strike but did not mention how many.

According to local sources, three Al-Qaeda militants were killed in total. One source, Fromo2g reported that the militants belonged to “Hadi’s forces”, but this was the sole reference. Saras 24 indicated that the military group were “affiliated with Hadi’s forces.”

Local sources referenced that the car was “loaded with ammunition” and that the militants had guns. This caused the care to explode when it was struck by the drone.

Al Youm Al 7 reported that “the aerial bombardment, preceded by hours of flying, led to the burning of the car and the charring of the bodies of those on board” which meant that the identity of the targeted leader could not be understood. Apparently, Al-Qadea militants were deployed into the area after the raid and prevented entry and exit into the area.

According to Akhbar Al Aan news, a US drone was launched from a military base in Dijbouti.

The incident occured around dawn.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Al Kawlah (الكولة) village, in the north east of Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Kawlah are: 15.54686, 45.41379.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • After an alleged US drone strike in Mareb, Al-Qaeda were reported to have blocked off the area, preventing exit and entry (Image via Saras 24)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (20) [ collapse]