Two alleged AQAP militants were reportedly killed by a US drone strike in Al Kawlah, in the Wadi Obeida area of Marib governorate, on the evening of December 19th 2017, according to several sources. On January 10th 2018, a US Central Command statement confirmed that a strike took place in Marib on December 19th, killing “AQAP deputy arms facilitator” Habib Al-Sana’ani. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
In addition to Al-Sana’ani, pro-AQAP channels named the second militant killed as Azzam Al-Kazemi, according to Twitter source @demolinari. Both victims reportedly belonged to the Wyla tribe in Saada.
Local-language sources, such as @ayramyy11, indicated that the strike targeted the militants as they travelled through the area in a car. AFP alone appeared to indicate that the strike occurred on the evening of December 20th, though it is possible that this reflects confusion with a second strike (USYEMTr127) in the same area.
In its statement, CENTCOM described Al-Sana’ani as “an intermediary with ties to senior AQAP leadership and was responsible for facilitating the movement of weapons, explosives and finances into northern Marib and al Bayda governorates”.
The incident occured in the evening.
Sources (12) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Al Kawlah (الكولة) village, in the north east of Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة). The generic coordinates for Al Kawlah are: 15.54686, 45.41379 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
U.S. air strikes kill senior AQAP militants
TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. air strikes in Yemen recently resulted in the death of key Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders.
U.S. forces continue sustained counterterrorism operations in Yemen against AQAP and ISIS, in coordination with the Government of Yemen, to degrade these groups’ ability to hold territory and coordinate external attacks.
External operations facilitator Miqdad al Sana’ani was killed in an air strike Dec. 15 in al-Bayda governorate.
Habib al-Sana’ani, AQAP deputy arms facilitator, who was an intermediary with ties to senior AQAP leadership and was responsible for facilitating the movement of weapons, explosives and finances into northern Marib and al-Bayda governorates, was killed in an airstrike Dec. 19 in Marib governorate.
Abu Umar al-Sana’ani, an AQAP Dawah committee member, was killed in an air strike Nov. 20 in al-Bayda governorate.
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