In an email to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US Central Command confirmed that a strike had targeted three “AQAP terrorists” in Shabwa on April 29th. This confirmed earlier reports that a US drone strike had killed at least two alleged AQAP militants travelling in a Vitara car in the Tamoura area, in the Al Rawdah district of Shabwa governorate, on the afternoon of April 29th 2017. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
Sources differed over the number of alleged militants killed in the strike. One local language Twitter source said that one died and another survived the strike. Several sources, including Al-Arabi, reported that two were killed, while one source reported four dead. Most reports indicated that three people had died in the strike.
Yemen Shabab and some other sources reported that two were killed instantly, while another was hospitalised in Azzan and later died of his wounds.
Several sources reported that AQAP leader Abu al-Qaqa Barhama was among the fatalities. According to one outlet, pro-AQAP sources named the others as Shihab al-Hajji and Abu al-Bara’ al-Baydani.
The incident occured in the afternoon.
Sources (39) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the Tamoura ( تمورة) area, allegedly east of Ghurair (غرير) village within the Al Rawda (الروضة) district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ghurair village are: 14.414444, 47.278611.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
U.S. forces conducted two strikes against AQAP in Yemen April 29. The first strike targeted three AQAP terrorists in Shabwah Governorate and the second strike was against four AQAP terrorists in Marib Governorate.
U.S. forces are conducting a series of sustained operations in Yemen against AQAP to degrade the group's ability to coordinate external terror attack operations and limit their ability to hold territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen and use it as safe space for terror plotting.
Since Feb. 28, the U.S. has conducted more than 80 precision strikes against AQAP militants, infrastructure, fighting positions and equipment. We'll continue to conduct operations - including strikes - against known terrorists.
AQAP is one of the terrorist groups most committed to and capable of conducting attacks in America, as assessed by the intelligence and defense communities. In recent years, AQAP has taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct and inspire terror attacks against America, its citizens and allies around the world.