Three US drone strikes reportedly targeted a convoy of alleged AQAP militants travelling through Aqaba Al Qandha area of Shabwa governorate, on the morning of September 2nd 2019. No known sources gave information on casualties of the strikes, and there were no known associated reports of civilian harm.
“Private sources” told Shabwa Press that US drones had targeted the militants as they travelled to support pro-government military operations in Shabwa, destroying three cars. Shabwa Press noted that Aqaba al-Qandaa is a key route in the area, linking Beihan with Bayda governorate.
Three local language social media sources, including @alsalahi_fahad, later indicated that there were “charred bodies” in the cars. Identical phrasing in these sources, however, indicates that they reflected one original post. Given the report of multiple bodies, minimum reported deaths has been set at two.
On October 4th 2019, a US Central Command spokesperson told New America that no US military strikes had been conducted in Yemen since June 24th 2019. It is, however, possible that an undeclared strike was conducted by the CIA, or was part of a clandestine US military action.
The incident occured in the morning.
Sources (31) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Aqaba Al Qandha (عقبة القنذع) area close to the borders of Shabwa (شبوة) and Al Bayda (البيضاء) governorates. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Aqaba Al Qandha are: 14.680437, 45.594356.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
On October 4, 2019, United States Central Command (CENTCOM) replied to an email inquiry from New America confirming that “the last strike conducted by CENTCOM in Yemen was 24 June.” Per that statement, there were no CENTCOM strikes in Yemen in September 2019.
The lack of strikes in September makes it more than three months since the last U.S. military counterterrorism strike in Yemen, according to New America’s research. However, it is possible that the United States has conducted covert non-military strikes, and in recent years there have been a small number of strikes attributed by media reports to the United States that CENTCOM has denied conducting