A reported airstrike targeted alleged AQAP militants to the west of Ahwar town, Abyan governorate, on April 1st 2017. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
Some sources reported that the strike came alongside an additional two actions on a farm to the east of Ahwar (USYEMTr063), indicating that the strike took place early on April 1st. According to the Aden Times, the strike targeted “locations where al-Qaeda groups gathered”.
Sources varied in assigning responsibility to a particular belligerent. Some described the strikes as US or American, while others indicated that Arab coalition aircraft “backed by US drones” were responsible. Airwars has therefore assessed this strike as “contested”.
This reported strike took place amid a dramatic intensification of US operations against AQAP, starting in early March 2017. On April 3rd 2017, Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said that, since February 28th 2017, 70 US airstrikes were conducted in Yemen.
The incident occured in the morning.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention strikes in the west of Ahwar (أحور) town, for which the generic coordinates are: 13.519256, 46.712837. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
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.