According to some local language social-media sources, a US drone strike targeted the home of Shabwa Governor Mohammed Salih Bin Adiyu in Ataq city, Shabwa, late on July 3rd 2020. Most sources, however, including local news outlets, instead reported that a fire had broken out in the building, leading to the explosion of a weapons store. No known sources gave information on casualties, and there were no known reports of civilian harm.
Social-media sources including @Mohamme19780462, @Shalal_Gaman, and @g3raan31 suggested the building was targeted as a meeting of alleged AQAP or ISIS “terrorists” took place.
News outlets, including Al-Masshad Al-Yemeni, Aden TM, and Yemen Press Agency, instead reported that a fire had broken out in the house. Local sources told Yemen Press Agency that a short-circuit had caused the fire, which had ignited ammunition and weapons stockpiles in the building, leading to “huge explosions”. These sources describe a state of panic in the local area due to these explosions.
Given disputed reporting on the origins of the fire and explosions, this event has been assessed by Airwars as “contested”.
US Central Command told Airwars that no US military strikes were conducted in Yemen during July 2020. It is, however, possible that an undeclared strike was conducted by the CIA, or as part of a clandestine US military operation.
The incident occured during the night.
Sources (10) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Palace of the Governor of Shabwa (قصر محافظ محافظة شبوة) being struck, within the city of Ataq (عــتق). Using visual footage from the incident we have identified the exact location of this strike, for which the coordinates are: 14.536605, 46.830683.