At least one civilian was killed and another civilian, a woman, was injured in alleged Saudi Coalition or US drone strikes on the Olaya Markha district of Shabwa governorate. Sources were conflicted about whether the other two to three people killed and two to three people wounded were civilians or members of Al Qaeda.
A Facebook post by Mohammed Al Yamani provided information that four civilians were killed and two others were injured in a Saudi Coalition airstrike on a car in the Olaya Markha district of Shabwa governorate.
A local source told “Al-Harf 28” that an unidentified aircraft struck a car in the “Amquh” area of Markah Olaya district and that the preliminary numbers indicate that three “citizens” were killed and two others were injured, all of whom belong to the “Al Mursas” tribe. News Yemen also put the number of people killed at three but reported that three other people were wounded.
A Facebook post from Ali Al Nasi identified the car as bringing to Ali bin Alawi Al Rasas and that the raid led to “the injury of the son of the owner of the car, Ahmed bin Ali”. They stated that the fate of the rest of the passengers in the car was unknown but later identified two people as being injured, adding that the targeted people are well known for their stance against ISIS.
A post from Saif Al Mahjari provided more information on the victims: in the first strike, two people were seriously injured – Ahmed Ali bin Alawi and bin Muthbi. While the wounded were being helped, there was another bombing, and this bombing killed three people – Hussein bin Ali bin Ahmed, Ibn Dahmash and Ibn Sawad, who were said to be brothers. A post from Abdualkarem Saleh Alrasas also provided similar names of people killed – Hussein bin Ali bin Hamad Al-Rasas, Ibrahim Dahmash Alawi Al-Rasas, Hussein Mohammed Al-Rasas.
Xinhua News reported that three people believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda were killed in US drone strikes that targeted a car carrying six people, wounding the three other passengers. X99 News quoted a security official, who said that the strikes occurred after noon in front of a US military base and resulted in the death of two gunmen associated with Al Qaeda and a civilians. They also identified two separate strikes as occurring but didn’t specify which casualties occurred during which strikes.
A local government official clarified to AFP what occurred in the two separate strikes: “A drone that is believed to be American targeted a car carrying a man, who is likely an Al-Qaeda member, and his wife, resulting in the injury of both,” a government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. “Three people, a civilian and two suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen, who were in a vehicle that was heading to the site to assist the wounded were targeted in another strike and killed.” A second government official in the border region between the central provinces of Shabwa and Al-Bayda confirmed the two strikes and death toll.
Sources were conflicted as to who was responsible for the strikes or were not able to identify who carried them out. The majority of sources attribute the strikes to the Saudi Coalition. However, the Yemeni Press identified the “US-Saudi aggression” as responsible and Xinhua News blamed US drones for the strikes.
In an email to Airwars on November 18th, the US military denied carrying out any attack, noting that “CENTCOM conducted its last counterterror strike in Yemen on June 24, 2019. CENTCOM has not conducted any new counterterror strikes in Yemen since.”
This does not however preclude actions by the CIA – which is known to have conducted at least three strikes in Yemen since that date.
The incident occured during the night.