A US airstrike killed seven ISIS militants “traveling in a truck in a rural area of al-Bayda” governorate on October 25th 2017, a US Central Command spokesperson told CNN News, one of two declared strikes against the group in the area that day.
This confirmed local reports that US drone strikes had killed at least six militants between Yakla and Dhi Kalb, both in Qayfa area of Bayda, in the evening of October 25th. There were no known reports of civilian harm.
Sources, including @demolinari, suggested that one of the two strikes targeted the vicinity of Ayshamah, between the Yakla and Dhi Kalb areas, while another targeted the Baqarat area, which lies to the west of Ayshamah. Since CENTCOM told CNN that a second strike (USYEMTr109) took place “about five miles to the west” of this event, reports regarding the Ayshamah area have been associated by Airwars with this strike. It remains possible that any one of these reports instead referred to the strike detailed in USYEMTr109.
While CENTCOM briefed that seven were killed in the strike, local sources told Salmashad and Al-Masdar Online that six alleged ISIS militants were killed between Yakla and Dhi Kalb, in the Ayshamah area, while travelling in a car.
Reports of the overall death toll from the two strikes varied. Multiple sources, including AFP, suggested that a total of 13 militants were killed in the two strikes, though US Central Command told CNN that nine had died. At the lower end, VOA reported that “at least seven” had been killed, while one Twitter user, @intelyse_arabia, suggested that six had died in the course of both strikes.
Though most indicated that the targets were ISIS-affiliated, some claimed that AQAP militants had been killed. According to Al-Hudud and some local-language Twitter users, one strike killed three AQAP leaders and four “others” in a car, though it was unclear which specific strike this referred to.
The strikes came less than ten days after US forces targeted ISIS militants in Yemen for the first time, in strikes (USYEMTr105 and USYEMTr106) on two training camps that cumulatively killed over 50 fighters, according to the US.
The incident occured in the evening.
Sources (34) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village of Ayshamah (عيشمة), for which the generic coordinates are: 14.564228951, 44.951198936. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
The US military conducted two airstrikes targeting ISIS in Yemen on Wednesday, killing nine ISIS militants, according to US Central Command, which oversees US troops in the region.
The two strikes hit ISIS vehicles and took place in al Bayda Governorate in Yemen.
This is only the second time the US has targeted ISIS in Yemen with a series of strikes, suggesting US planners are increasingly concerned about the terror group's presence there.
Military strikes there have historically targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
"Ongoing US counter-terrorism operations against ISIS in the ungoverned spaces of Yemen continued today with two strikes, which killed nine terrorists," said US Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a Central Command spokesperson.
The first strike successfully targeted seven armed ISIS fighters traveling in a truck in a rural area of al Bayda. The second strike killed two armed ISIS fighters in a parked truck located about five miles to the west of the first site, Jacques said.
In the last 10 days, US forces have successfully targeted and removed 60 ISIS terrorists from the battlefield in Yemen.
A series of strikes on two ISIS terror training camps in al Bayda on October 16, killed more than 50 terrorists, disrupting the organization's attempts to train new fighters.
ISIS used the camps to train aspiring militants to conduct terror attacks, conducting courses in assault tactics and the use of AK-47s, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Yemen has been wracked by warfare and has become a proxy battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Yemen's minority Houthis, who are Shiite, rebelled against the Sunni-led government, backed by Saudi Arabia.
That spurred the Saudi-led coalition to launch airstrikes in support of Yemen's government against rebel targets in Yemen in March of 2015.
The United Nations has called the conflict a "humanitarian catastrophe."
Government forces and the Saudi-led coalition also have fought against the al Qaeda branch in Yemen and ISIS, both of which are anti-government Sunni terror groups.