Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

YEMYEM001

Incident date

January 20, 2010

Location

عرق ال شبوان, Erq al Shabwan, Marib, Yemen

Geolocation

15.51479, 45.37014 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to two people were killed by an alleged Yemeni airstrike, targeting the home of al-Shabwani, a leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the Mareb province in Erq al Shabwan the morning of January 20th, 2010. It is unclear whether all of those killed were belligerents or if civilians, in addition to belligerents, were killed in the operation.

The alleged incident casts doubts on the Yemini government’s assertions that Al-Shabwani and al-Raimi, Al Qaeda’s military chief, had been killed in an airstrike five days earlier (USYEM007-B).

According to a tribal source commenting on the alleged incident, an unspecified number of people were killed but did not state whether they were civilians or not.

The Yemeni government reported that they targeted the home and farm of Al-Shabwani with four raids, three on the house and one on an orange grove near the village and house of Al-Shabwana which is suspected to house a dozen Al Qaeda members. Furthermore, Sana´a officials revealed that there was an exchange of fire by the Al Qaeda members with an anti-aircraft weapon.

The Yemeni government had claimed just a week prior that they had killed Al-Shabwani. However, The Nation and France24 later reported that Al-Shabwani was killed during a battle with the army on July 20, 2011.

Herald Net stated that the alleged airstrike targeted two of the most wanted Al Qaeda figures, Al-Shabwani and al-Raimi, for the second time that week. According to Herald Net “Al-Raimi was described as one of Yemen’s most-wanted militants accused of plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador. Yemeni officials have said he escaped a government attack on him last month.”

The Long War Journal quoted the editor of the Yemen Post as saying that Shabwani had been the primary target of several recent attacks. It also stated that an orange grove near Shabwani’s home was hit, where “Al Qaeda fighters were reportedly sheltering”.

A Yemeni tribal source confirmed the airstrikes in Erq Al Shabwan village to news agency AFP, and said a “number of people had been killed”. However, the source did not give the combat status of these people.

Yemen Post editor Hakim Almasmari told Voice of America that there had been 17 raids throughout the day, targeting Shabwani. “They are still ongoing…Until now, there is only one Al Qaida leader killed. [Yemeni security forces] have troops on the ground, but doing nothing. Most of the attacks are from the air,” he said.

Voice of America added that “militants close to Shabwani claim he survived the raids.” In addition, “Al-Jazeera TV showed images of the damaged compound, although it was not clear when they were taken. Missiles appear to have pierced a gaping hole on one side of the mud-brick fortress.”

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Strike target
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Erq Al Shabwan (عرق آل شبوان), for which the generic coordinates are: 15.51479, 45.37014. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Strike target
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (9) [ collapse]