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.
Sources (10) [ collapse]
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.
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.