Several sources alleged that US battleships bombarded the area of Al Khabr in al-Maraqisha, Abyan governorate, on February 2nd 2017, where AQAP militants were allegedly based. There were no reported civilian or combatant casualties.
One anonymous Yemeni government official, speaking to Reuters, said that “ships fired several missiles towards the al-Maraqisha mountains, where al Qaeda elements are based. The ships are widely believed to be Americans. We have received no information on the outcome of the shelling”.
According to the Washington Times, “government officials” told the Associated Press that the area had been shelled by US warships for five consecutive days, though no further sources corroborated this claim, except for some local language reports of US naval shelling on February 1st. Sky News Arabic reported that “local sources” had alleged US naval strikes in the area. According to Reuters, the “al-Maraqisha mountains are a key al-Qaeda stronghold in Southern Yemen”, after militants were driven there when Zinjibar and Jaar fell to Yemeni government forces in 2016.
US Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davies denied US involvement in the naval shelling, Reuters reported. One source indicated that tribal sheikh Faisal Mohammed Baleedi also denied any bombing in the region, while Al Mushahid reported that an anonymous “security source” had additionally denied that shelling was taking place.
The incident occured in the morning.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the town of Al Khabr (الخبر), south of Al Maraqisha mountains (جبال المراقشة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Khabr are: 13.434370, 46.166439.