Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEMTr059

Incident date

March 30–31, 2017

Location

سبخة, أحور, Salt marshes, Ahwar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.519256, 46.712837 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least a dozen US air and naval strikes reportedly targeted alleged AQAP militants in an area of salt marshes south of Ahwar city, in the Ahwar directorate of Abyan governorate, overnight from March 30th to March 31st 2017. There are no known associated reports of civilian harm.

Several sources indicated that overnight naval and drone strikes targeted militants as they fled from earlier reported strikes against AQAP sites in or around Mogan, al-Maraqisha, on the Abyan coast. Al Itihad for example noted that “other raids targeted groups of terrorist elements in the Sabkha area while they were fleeing from the bombing that targeted their training camps in the areas of Mogan and Khobar Al-Marashshah In the district of Ahwar.”

There were no clear allegations of casualties from the reported strikes, though the now-deleted account @CombatTerrorism reportedly indicated that the militants “all died”, according to sources including Yafa News and Sahafanet. Airwars has, therefore, assessed that a minimum of two militants were allegedly killed in the strike.

This reported event took place amid a dramatic intensification of US operations against AQAP in 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 during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Naval bombardment
  • 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
    2

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of the coastal salt marshes (سبخة), located within the Qaroub (علبوب) area, south of Ahwar (أحور) city. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ahwar are: 13.519256, 46.712837.

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, Naval bombardment
  • 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
    2

Sources (11) [ collapse]