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.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
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.