Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM010-B

Incident date

March 14, 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

A night time precision strike reportedly carried out by the Yemeni air force or the US forces killed between two and nine militants in an air raid on a suspected terrorist training site in Abyan province on March 14, 2010.

Al-Jazeera reported “Local residents told the Reuters news agency that as many as 20 civilians may have been killed in those attacks targeting Al Qaeda.” AFP reported civilian casualties of an unknown number, adding that “some said they fled their homes in fear of being targeted by the strikes.” It is likely that the civilian casualties referred to occurred during the strikes on the following day, March 15th (assessed in USYEM011-C).

According to AFP, Jamil Nasser Abdullah al-Anbari, also known as Abi Saber al-Abyani, believed to be the leader of Al Qaeda in southern Abyan province, was one of two militants killed.

However, Critical Threats reported that three alleged Al Qaeda members were killed – the others named as Samir al Sanaani, (also known as Abu Fawwaz al-Sanaani or Amin al-Maqalih), and Ahmed Amzarba.The Long War Journal quoted the Yemeni Defense Ministry, who claimed the two Al Qaeda commanders were plotting to carry out attacks “against vital installations” inside Yemen. Gregg Carlstrom, a correspondent for The Economist, added that one of the men killed was from Saudi Arabia.

A brief statement from the Yemen government said the raids were carried out in Moudia, with an official saying that up to nine people died.

Yemeni soldiers were reportedly dispatched to the scene of this and the subsequent strike to take samples from corpses for DNA analysis. AQAP later set up a Jamil al Anbari Martyrs’ Brigade, and released an audio eulogy to the “fallen fighters”, which stated that Al-Anbari and al-Maqalih (Sanaani) was trying to connect to the net when he was killed by an air raid in the area of Jiza in Abyan province therefore reportedly confirming these deaths.

Gregg Carlstrom, a correspondent for The Economist posted on Twitter that: “Some speculation in the Yemeni press that the Abyan airstrike targeted the Southern Movement, not AQAP. Saleh’s people deny, naturally.”

The New York Times referred to this incident as “the next known American strike” without citing how this was known, adding that the strike killed “Al Qaeda operative named Jamil al-Anbari and possibly another militant” and that “on June 19, the group retaliated with a lethal attack on a government security compound in Aden that left 11 people dead and said the “brigade of the martyr Jamil al-Anbari” carried it out.”

The incident occured at approximately 10:00 pm local time.

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
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • 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 targets
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The aftermath of the strike (Al Motamar, March 15, 2010)
  • Explosion from the strike (Al Jazeera, March 15, 2010)

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
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected targets
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (20) [ collapse]