Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM107-B

Incident date

June 19, 2012

Location

يافع, Yafa'a district, Lahij, Yemen

Geolocation

13.889702, 45.24876 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Three militants were killed when a vehicle was destroyed in Yafa’a district south of Bayda province by alleged Yemeni or US airstrikes on June 19, 2012, local and international media reported. There are currently no known reports of civilian harm.

According to reporting from Reuters, Yemeni state news (Saba) reported that on June 19th, Yemeni forces killed Salah al-Jawhari, a suspected Al Qaeda militant accused of directing suicide bombers for the terror group, while residents in the Yafa’a District reported that a drone specifically targeted a car that included al-Jawhari and two others.

Kuna.net and Yemen Times corroborated the locals’ story with a report noting that a car with three suspected terrorists was struck by Yemeni forces. Saba quoted one Yemeni military official speaking anonymously as saying that al-Jawhari and his two accomplices were “suicide bombers who were preparing to target military and security commanders in Bayda”, and the same military official believed that al-Jawhari was “in charge of Al Qaeda suicide cells in both Sanaa and Bayda”. The Yemen Times also reported that al-Jawhari was on Yemen’s most wanted terror list for over three years before being killed on June 19th. The same report acknowledged that al-Jawhari was also not the sole target, although no names or additional information was offered about the two other suspected militants who were killed.

According to Yemenfox.net, Yemeni military officials confirmed that security forces killed Salah al-Jawhari. Contrasting this report were residents who stated that an American drone was responsible for striking and destroying the car in which al-Jawhari and two others, who were later described by Yemeni security officials as al-Jawhari’s “guards,” were traveling. The same report from Yemenfox.net credited local witnesses as stating that the U.S. drone fired four missiles at the car. While all Yemeni security officials described al-Jawhari as an Al Qaeda operative, almithaq.net noted that the suspected militant was the leader of Al Qaeda in the Yafa’a region.

On the same day of the strike, US CENTCOM commander General James Mattis, visiting Sanaa, was reported by the US Embassy to have discussed “ways that the United States can cooperate with the Yemeni military to fight the mutual threat of Al Qaeda.”

The incident occured in the evening.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Badya province (ٱلْبَيْضَاء‎) and the Yafea or Yafa’a (يافع) district. There is no Yafa’a (يافع) district in the Bayda province, however, there is a Yafa’a (يافع) district just south of Bayda city, in the Lahij province, for which the generic coordinates are: 13.889702, 45.24876. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
    3

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image reportedly of Salah al-Jawhari, killed by alleged US or Yemeni airstrikes on June 19, 2012. (Image posted by Yemen Fox)

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
    3

Sources (11) [ collapse]