According to some sources, a US drone strike targeted alleged AQAP militants in the house of Ali Bin Hassan Bin Gharib, an Islah leader, in Shabwana, in Marib governorate in the early morning of April 11th 2020. However others suggested that a Houthi ballistic missile was responsible. While Bin Gharib was reportedly unharmed, some indicated that the strike resulted in civilian casualties, though no specific details were available.
Bin Gharib is reportedly an elder of the Obeida tribe in Marib, and local sources told Sahaftak that he was a prison official in the governorate. One source, @ahmedhashdy, alleged that he was also an AQAP leader.
Local sources told Al-Masdar Online, YPA Agency, and Sahaftak that the strike had resulted in civilian casualties, partly destroying the house and some neighbouring buildings. Given these reports, Airwars has assessed that at least two civilians were reportedly killed in the event.
Though the first known report of a strike in the area came at 3:42 AM on April 11th – from @AbduMahmoud19, reporting a Houthi ballistic missile strike – several sources, including Al-Masdar Online and Sahaftak, indicated that the strike against Bin Gharib’s house took place on the evening of that day.
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani, tweeted condemnation of the strike on a “residential area in Marib”, which he attributed to “Iranian-backed Houthi militias”, while a Yemeni military social media feed also suggested that this event was one of two Houthi “ceasefire violations” in the area.
US Central Command told Airwars that no US military strikes were conducted in Yemen during April 2020. It is, however, possible that an undeclared strike was conducted by the CIA, or as part of a clandestine US military action.
The incident occured around dawn.
Sources (20) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a residential building within Ma’rib (مأرب). Conflicting sources claim the building to be located at several sites within a 100m area, for which the generic coordinates are: 15.501357, 45.364845. 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
According to CENTCOM, there were no US military strikes during April 2020 in Yemen.