Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEMTr127

Incident date

December 20, 2017

Location

وادي عبيدة, Wadi Obeida, Marib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.515556, 45.395278 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • The December 20th strike reportedly targeted a Hilux truck in Wadi Obeida, killing four alleged AQAP militants (@demolinari, December 21st 2017)
  • Abu Hajar Al-Makki, allegedly an AQAP media "chief" of Saudi nationality, was one of those reportedly killed in the strike (@demolinari, December 21st 2017)
  • Abu Hajar Al-Makki, allegedly an AQAP media "chief" of Saudi nationality, was one of those reportedly killed in the strike (@demolinari, December 21st 2017)
  • Abu Hajar Al-Makki, allegedly an AQAP media "chief" of Saudi nationality, was one of those reportedly killed in the strike (@demolinari, December 21st 2017)
  • Abu Hajar Al-Makki, allegedly an AQAP media "chief" of Saudi nationality, was one of those reportedly killed in the strike (@demolinari, December 21st 2017)
  • After the strike, eulogies of Al-Makki reportedly featured heavily on pro-AQAP feeds, indicating that he was a "highly influential" member of the organisation, according to @Dr_E_Kendall (December 24th 2017)
  • After the strike, eulogies of Al-Makki reportedly featured heavily on pro-AQAP feeds, indicating that he was a "highly influential" member of the organisation, according to @Dr_E_Kendall (Long War Journal, December 22nd 2017)

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.

  • Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة) area, east of Mar’ib (مأرب) city.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (8) [ collapse]