There were some unconfirmed reports of a January 21st US drone strike in Sama’a, al-Bayda province, killing up to three alleged AQAP militants. The strike was reported to have occurred in the same general area as a second, confirmed strike on the same day.
All but one source said that three militants had died in the attack – with most sources also describing a pickup truck as having been targeted. SMA News reported only that three ‘people’ had died in the attack – noting that it did not have additional details on their identities at the time.
Al-Masdar Online, which indicated that the strike took place in the Al-Fara’a area of Sama’a, named the “suspected” militants killed as Mithaq Al-Adani, Jarrah Al-San’ani and Ammar Al-Hadi.
AFP instead reported on January 22nd that anonymous security officials said that a drone strike had taken place against a motorcycle, the second of two attacks the previous day. Some local sources similarly reported that a strike had taken place against a motorcycle, while others reported that a strike had taken place against a vehicle. US Central Command later acknowledged only one strike on the 21st.
Due to the geographical proximity of this reported strike to others during the same time period, it is possible that some or all of these reports instead refer to one or more other listed drone strikes from the 20th-22nd January 2017. However it also remains possible that this was an undeclared CIA action.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (16) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a strike on a vehicle in the district of Al Suma’a (مديرية الصومعة), for which the generic coordinates are: 14.166667, 45.831111. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.