US drone strikes targeted AQAP sites in the Sabar area of Wadea district in Abyan province, late on July 9th 2017, a Yemeni military official told Xinhua. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
According to Xinhua, “Overnight airstrikes launched by a U.S. drone hit a number of al-Qaida-held sites in Yemen’s turbulent southern province of Abyan, causing huge blasts, a military official told Xinhua Monday. The military source based in Abyan confirmed that the unmanned U.S. plane struck al-Qaida-held sites in Sabar area of Abyan province late on Sunday night, causing huge explosions that rocked the area. He said that suspected arms depots and a camp used for training new al-Qaida recruits were successfully pounded in the aerial bombardment. Unknown number of al-Qaida gunmen were either killed or injured due to the missiles that directly hit their locations. Residents in the area told Xinhua over phone that “several blasts were heard in the rugged areas used by al-Qaida militants in Abyan province.”
Given this report, Airwars has assessed that a minimum of one AQAP militant was reported killed in the strike, with a minimum of one injured.
Aden al-Ghad also reported that there were “conflicting reports” of an airstrike, stating that sources did not confirm the strike but said that an “explosion was heard from the area”. Only Xinhua reported that the US was responsible for the event.
Two local language Twitter sources simply stated that there was “conflicting news” of an airstrike against AQAP in Abyan.
In an email to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a US Central Command spokesperson denied that US strikes were conducted in Abyan province during the relevant time frame. This assertion did not however preclude an action by the CIA.
The incident occured during the night.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Sabbar (الصبار), allegedly located within the Al Wade’a (الوضيع) district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Wade’a district are: 13.713333, 46.011944.