A reported US drone strike killed two alleged AQAP militants, including a Saudi national, while they were driving in the Al-Abr area of Hadramout governorate, on March 14th 2017. There are no known associated reports of civilian harm.
According to FPA, the alleged militants were named as Abu Jandal al-Hadrami and Abu Hashim al-Sharuri by an anonymous security official. Some sources suggested that the former was an AQAP poet, while others suggested that one of the casualties was a “Saudi leader”.
This reported strike took place amid a dramatic intensification of US operations against AQAP beginning in early March 2017. On April 3rd, Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said that, from February 28th to the final week of March, 50 US airstrikes were conducted in Yemen.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (26) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck within the Al Abr District (مديرية العبر), for which, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Abr District are: 15.934614, 47.224583.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
The U.S. military conducted airstrikes over eastern Yemen during the weekend, targeting the sites of extremist group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, director of Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters today.
“We continue to target [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] in Yemen, and this is done in the interest of disrupting a terror organization that presents a very significant threat to the United States,” Davis said.
Strikes Target Terrorists
During the weekend in Yemen’s Shabwah governorate, the precision airstrikes targeted al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists, as well as the terrorists’ infrastructure, fighting positions and equipment, the spokesman said.
The airstrikes follow the late-January U.S. raid in Yemen during which a U.S. service member died. From Feb. 28 through last week, some 50 airstrikes were conducted, Davis noted.
The weekend airstrikes, which were largely unmanned, bring the total to 70, he said.