Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM141-B

Incident date

January 4, 2013

Location

رداع, Rada'a, Bayda, Yemen

Geolocation

14.415088, 44.840937 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On January 3rd 2013, at least three Al Qaeda militants were allegedly killed by a US or Yemeni airstrike in a “mountainous area” near Rada’a. There are currently no known reports of civilian harm.

Among those who died was Muqbel Abbad Al Zobah, nicknamed Abu Shebab, the news source Akhbar Alyom reported. This was corroborated amongst others by Al Jazeera English, AFP, and Xinhua. He was said to have been a 35 years old man from a nearby village in the Qifah area. Local sources described Al Zobah as a leading Al Qaeda figure and according to AFP, he was the brother-in-law of Tareq al Dhahab “who led Al Qaeda fighters in a brief January 2012 raid on Rada’a” and was killed in February 2012. The second militant was Musaed al Zubairi, a 37 years old man from the Ma’rib governorate. He has been wanted by the Yemeni security services. While most sources reported that the third militant killed in the strike could not be identified, Twitter user @BaFana3 claimed on the day of the attack that Sahr Qaid Al Dhahab was among the dead.

The militants were hit travelling in their car in the Qifah district of Rada’a and were killed on the spot, Akhbar Alyom reported. A resident told Reuters that “the car […] was completely destroyed and their bodies were unrecognisable.”

The attack was the fifth strike to hit southern Yemen within ten days, The Times reported. The strikes were believed to have targeted Abdulraouf al Dahab, who was “instrumental in Al Qaeda’s takeover of Rada’a last year.”

The following day, Reuters reported that local tribesmen demonstrated in Rada’a against US drone strikes. One protester told the news agency that “seven innocent civilians” had been killed in the recently intensified air campaign. Another said: “If the [Yemeni] authorities don’t stop the American attacks then we will occupy the government institutions in the town.”

According to Reuters, a government official said that “the attack was by a Yemeni aircraft.” However, most local accounts of the incident made the US responsible for the raid. Residents suspected that the strike came from an unmanned aircraft. “We have noticed a drone flying over for the past few days,” they told Reuters.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a vehicle in or near the town of Rada’a (رداع). One source reported that the strike took place in a mountainous area of the town, however, as Rada’a is surrounded by mountains, it could not be determined what area this refers to. The coordinates for the town of Rada’a (رداع) are: 14.415088, 44.840937. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike.

  • The town Rada’a (رداع), surrounded by mountains

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

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 (49) [ 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, 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 (49) [ collapse]