Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM037-B

Incident date

September 21, 2011

Location

المحفد, Al Mahfed, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

14.059345, 46.915427 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On 21 September, 2011, alleged US airstrikes on the town of Al-Mahfad were said to have killed four suspected AQAP militants, according to numerous sources. Initial claims that high-profile Al Qaeda officials such as Anwar al-Awlaki, Fahd al-Quso and Said al-Shihri may have been present and killed in the strike were later proven false. There are no reported cases of civilian harm.

The strike on Al-Mahfad took place in conjunction with numerous strikes throughout the province of Abyan in south Yemen, and several sources, such as AFP, Al Hadath Journal, and Yemen Latest News put the number of alleged AQAP militants killed throughout the province at ten. AFP reported that of the ten, six were killed in a strike on Shaqra and four were killed in a strike on Al-Mahfad. AFP reported that two strikes took place in Mahfad.

A resident told Aden Al-Ghad that he saw dense smoke rising from the middle of rugged wooden warehouses used by the shepherds years ago to store firewood and other materials before armed groups settled in the area into gathering centers.

AFP and Aden Online reported that four alleged militants were killed in the strike on Al-Mahfad, with Aden Online noting that the strike was the work of US aircraft. Other sources, such as Al Hadath, claim that the strikes were carried out by drones. Long War Journal states that it is unknown whether the strikes were carried out by warplanes or drones and that when they contacted the US for comment, the US military officials “would not comment on airstrikes, but said US forces are supporting Yemeni forces”.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Mahfed (المحفد), for which the generic coordinates are: 14.059345, 46.915427. 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, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • A screenshot captured on the BBC website shows Said al-Shihri (Photo credit: AP), an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) commander who was though to have been targeted and killed in the strike. However this was later proven false.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (15) [ collapse]