Four alleged AQAP militants, including Saudi-born media “chief” Abu Hajar Al-Makki, were reportedly killed by a US drone strike in Wadi Obeida, in Marib governorate, on the night of December 20th 2017. There were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
Al-Makki, also known as Mohammed Farhan Al-Maliki, and by his online alias Shakeem Al-Khorasani, was described by academic Dr Elizabeth Kendall (@Dr_E_Kendall) as a “prolific media writer” for AQAP. Sources further indicated that Al-Makki had previously fought in and been injured in Afghanistan.
“Tribal sources” told AFP that Al-Makki was killed, along with three other militants, when their car was destroyed by a strike in the area.
Though CENTCOM did not confirm this strike, a December 20th statement stressed that “ongoing operations pressuring the network have also degraded AQAP’s propaganda production, reducing one of the methods for the terror group to recruit and inspire lone wolf attacks across the globe”.
The incident occured during the night.
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Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة) area, east of Mar’ib (مأرب) city. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Wadi Obeida are: 15.515556, 45.395278.