Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM129-B

Incident date

September 20, 2012

Location

المحفد, Mahfad, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

14.060537, 46.918367 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The morning of September the 20th 2012, two air strikes or drone strikes, which are believed to be either American or Yemeni, killed up to four militants and injured three others in the eastern outskirts of the town of Mahfad in the southern province of Abyan.  Even though it cannot be ruled out, there are no reports of civilian harm.

Some confusion exists over the exact location of the strike. Most sources, such as Adenalghad and Xinhua, report that the strikes took place solely in Mahfad but some Twitter sources, such as @anaweny and @yementodaytvnet, report that the strikes were in both Mahfad and Mudiyah.

Xinhua news first quoted a local security official who reported that two militants had been killed and that three had been injured by a Yemeni air strike. According to the security official: “The air bombing is going to have a very significant impact on the activities of [Al Qaeda] militants […] Their movement in Abyan is going to be disrupted during the coming days.” Xinhua also reported that militant sources had confirmed the death of two Al Qaeda insurgents.

However, Adenalghad News later reported that Xinhua news had stated that another local official had said that the strike was instead executed by an American drone and that it had killed four Al Qaeda members and injured multiple others. This is supported by the fact that the Yemeni Air Force lacks the technical capability to conduct precision air strikes. Adenalghad News also reported that there are believed to have been leaders of Al Qaeda who were among the dead. According to both Alshawa Yemen and Adenalghad, militants regrouped in Mahfad in the weeks preceding the strike after fleeing from Azzan, Jaar and Zinjibar due to an offensive by the Yemeni army resulting in Mahfad becoming a target.

The incident occured in the morning.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the eastern outskirts of the town of Mahfad (المحفد) were targeted, in Abyan governorate. The coordinates for the eastern part of Mahfad (المحفد) are: 14.060537, 46.918367.

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 target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–4
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (11) [ collapse]

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 target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–4
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (11) [ collapse]