Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEMTr055

Incident date

March 30, 2017

Location

الطريق الواصل بين وادي النخلة والسهيل, Road connecting Wadi Nakhla to Al Suhail, Marib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.5000139, 45.2216056 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

A reported US drone strike targeted alleged AQAP militants travelling in a vehicle on the road connecting Wadi Nakhla to Al Suhail, in the Sirwah district of Marib governorate, early on March 30th 2017. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.

While most sources indicated that the strike was launched by a US drone, one did assign it to “Saudi-American aggression”.  Multiple sources reported that the vehicle was targeted while travelling on the Al Suhail and Nakhla road. Some claimed that the vehicle was carrying “heavy weapons”.

Images from the scene show total destruction of the vehicle, indicating that those inside were killed. Airwars has therefore set the belligerent toll at one to two deaths in this case. Images of the scene also enabled Airwars precisely to geolocate this incident (see below.)

This reported event 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, fifty US airstrikes were conducted in Yemen.

The incident occured between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Several reports suggested that a US drone strike targeted alleged AQAP militants travelling in a vehicle in Marib (@demolinari, March 30th 2017)
  • Several reports suggested that a US drone strike targeted alleged AQAP militants travelling in a vehicle in Marib (@demolinari, March 30th 2017)
  • Several reports suggested that a US drone strike targeted alleged AQAP militants travelling in a vehicle in Marib (@demolinari, March 30th 2017)

Geolocation notes (6) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck on the road connecting Wadi Nakhla (وادي نخلا) to Al Suhail (السحيل), within the Sirwah (صرواح) district of Marib (مَأْرِب) governorate. Analyzing available visual material and using mapping resources, we narrowed this down to an exact location, for which coordinates are: 15.5000139, 45.2216056.

  • Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck on the road connecting Wadi Nakhla (وادي نخلا) to Al Suhail (السحيل), within the Sirwah (صرواح) district of Marib (مَأْرِب) governorate. Analyzing available visual material and using mapping resources, we narrowed this down to an exact location.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Exact location of the wreckage, in relation to Wadi Nakhal (وادي نخلا) to Al Suhail (السحيل).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Comparison of satellite imagery. On the left a capture from May 5th 2016, and on the right a capture from March 31st 2017, a day after the alleged strike. Visible scorch marks as a result of the strike can be seen.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Hills in the distance can be seen matching the Google Earth terrain visualisation, here marked A and B for comparison.

    Imagery:
    @demolinari

  • Hills in the distance can be seen matching photographic material from sources, here marked A and B for comparison.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • The tower in the background matches those visible from satellite imagery, and is the closest to the road in that area.

    Imagery:
    @demolinari

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (10) [ collapse]