Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEM143-B

Incident date

January 19, 2013

Location

وادي عبيدة, Wadi Abida, Marib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.515556, 45.395278 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On January 19th 2013, before 11pm, the second of three alleged US drone strikes hit the  Al Shabwan Wadi Abidah region of the Marib governorate, killing as many as three militants.

Marib Press, Yemen Observer, and Enduring American World View corroborated that one of the reported militants killed was Ismaeel Bin Saeed Bin Jameel and referred to Ismaeel as a local AQAP chief, while Al Masdar Online reported that Ismaeel belonged to the valley tribes and that his brother, a leader in Al Qaeda, Ali Saeed Jamil, was also killed in clashes between Government forces and Al Qaeda fighters in July 2011 in Abyan Governorate. However, local man Raed Fad Abdullah said he was not a senior militant.

Long War Journal linked the other two bodies to two Saudi nationals called Abu Ali Abdullah al-Suweed and Abu al-Zubeir al-Qassimi as per a “Jihadist biography”.AQAP declared a low level Saudi fighter was killed in a US strike in Marib. Abdullah al Ali al Suweed was killed ‘with a group of his brothers in the month of Safar 1434’. According to the Long War Journal this corresponds to December 2012 to January 2013.

AQAP also announced the death of a senior militant from Saudi Arabia. Abu al Zubeir al Qassimi was an inmate in the al Safra prison in Saudi Arabia before moving to Yemen for training. He commanded militants in Abyan province before taking command of fighters in Marib province. According to the Long War Journal al Qassimi was killed in Abyan province in an unspecified strike. However SITE Intelligence in a March 6 post said he died in Marib on an unspecified date (link unavailable). SITE also gave al Qassimi’s alias as Walid al Harbi. A Walid Jarbou’ Al-Harbi – a failed student of Qassim University – was reportedly arrested in connection to an April 2005 gun battle with Saudi security forces. He was jailed for over a year before fleeing to Yemen in 2009. He has been listed as a wanted terrorist by the Saudi ministry of interior.

Other sources claimed that the two other bodies could not be identified as they were charred.

The suspected AQAP militants were allegedly traveling in a Vitara car between 2 km (Marib press) and 8 km in the Ghodaigah area (Yemen Observer) away from the first strike in Al-Masil which hit an orange farm. Xinhua however reported that the same drone fired a second strike and killed two militants inspecting the car that was hit by the first strike. A witness quoted in multiple news sources said that the car was engulfed in flames. Yemen Observer referenced an earlier strike that missed the car and allowed the passengers to flee.

Local sources referred to the drone strikes as being carried out by the US. The Yemen defence ministry reportedly confirmed the strikes hit Mareb province but would not confirm if the Yemen Air Force or US forces carried out the attacks. The Yemen Air Force has been shown to lack the technical capacity to launch precision strikes, or fly at night.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة) area, east of Mar’ib (مأرب) city. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Wadi Obeida are: 15.515556, 45.395278.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (57) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Two Saudi operatives, Abdullah al Ali al Suweed (left) and Abu al Zubeir al Qassimi (right), died in suspected U.S drone attacks on Wadi Abadi, January 19th (via Long War Journal)
  • A Saudi man, Walid Jarbou Eid Al-Jaleedi Al-Harbi, was documented as killed in suspected U.S drone strikes on Wadi Abadi January 19th. The Saudi Gazette alleged he was part of a terrorist network. (via Saudi Ministry of Interior)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected 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
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (57) [ collapse]