List of drone strikes in Yemen

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American intervention in Yemen
Part of the War on Terror
and the Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Date5 November 2002–present
Location
Status

Ongoing

  • 329 drone strikes confirmed[1]
  • 57 AQAP leaders confirmed killed[2]
  • Numerous AQAP bases destroyed
Belligerents

 United States

AQAP (from 2009)
Ansar al-Sharia (from 2011)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL-YP (from 2014)

Other militant groups
Commanders and leaders
Nasir al-Wuhayshi  
Qasim al-Raymi
Abu Hamza al-Zinjibari  
Said Ali al-Shihri  
Khalid Batarfi
Ibrahim al-Asiri  
Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi  
Anwar al-Awlaki  
Othman al-Ghamdi  
Ibrahim al-Rubaysh  
Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari  
Ibrahim al-Qosi
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
1 killed
3 wounded
1 V-22 Osprey crashed
1 MQ-9 Reaper shot down
1,367–1,758 total killed, 1,251–1,609 militants killed (New America)[3] or 846–1,159 militants killed (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)[1]
116–149 civilians killed (New America)[3] or 174–225 civilians killed (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)[1]
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen
Part of the Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
and the War on Terror
Date26 March 2015–present
Location
Status

Ongoing

Belligerents

 Saudi Arabia
 UAE
Supported by:

 United States

Houthis


ShababFlag.svg AQAP
Ansar al-Sharia


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL-YP
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
1 Saudi Arabian CH-4 drone shot down[5] Multiple Houthi drones shot down[6]
Unknown

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the US military attacked Islamist militant presence in Yemen, in particular Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula using drone warfare.[7]

After the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, the Saudi led coalition attacked Houthi rebels using drone warfare.[4] The Houthi movement have also used drone warfare to attack the Saudi led coalition and pro Yemen government troops.[8][9]

Timeline[edit]

2002[edit]

5 November[edit]

On November 5, 2002, Al-Qaeda operatives in a car traveling through Yemen were killed in a targeted killing by a missile launched from a CIA-controlled Predator drone.[10]

2010[edit]

In May 2010 an errant US drone attack targeting al-Qaeda terrorists in Wadi Abida, Yemen, killed five people, among them Jaber al-Shabwani, deputy governor of Ma'rib Governorate who was mediating between the government and the militants. The killing so angered Shabwani's tribesmen that in the subsequent weeks they fought heavily with government security forces, twice attacking a major oil pipeline in Marib.[11]

2011[edit]

5 May[edit]

On May 5, 2011, a missile fired from a US drone killed Abdullah and Mosaad Mubarak, brothers who may have been al-Qaeda militants. The missile was fired on their car and both died instantly.[12][13] The strike was aimed at killing al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, but al-Awlaki survived.[14]

3 June[edit]

On June 3, 2011 American manned jets or drones attacked and killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel al-Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects, including Ammar Abadah Nasser al-Wa'eli, in a strike in southern Yemen.[15] Four civilians were also reportedly killed in the strike. The strike was reportedly coordinated by American special forces and CIA operatives based in Sana.[16] According to the Associated Press, in 2011 the US government began building an airbase near or in Yemen from which the CIA and US military plans to operate drones over Yemen.[17][18] The Washington Post reported that the US previously used a base in Djibouti to operate drones over Yemen.[19] The Wall Street Journal reports that a US drone base in the Seychelles could be used to operate drones over Yemen.[20]

14 July[edit]

According to local residents and unnamed American and Yemeni government officials, on July 14, 2011 US manned aircraft or drones attacked and destroyed a police station in Mudiya in Abyan Governorate which had been occupied by al-Qaeda militants. Yemeni media and government gave conflicting accounts on the number of casualties, estimated at between 6 and 50 killed. The same day and nearby, drone missiles reportedly hit a car belonging to Yemeni al-Qaeda leader Fahd al-Quso, but al-Quso survived the attack.[21][22][23][24][25]

1 August[edit]

On August 1, 2011, US drones and reportedly Yemeni aircraft attacked three targets with bombs and missiles in South Yemen, killing 15 suspected al-Qaeda militants and wounding 17 others. The locations targeted included al-Wahdah, al-Amodiah, and al-Khamilah in Abyan Governorate. One of those killed was reportedly militant leader Naser al-Shadadi. According to the Yemen Post "At least 35 US drone attacks were reported in Yemen over the last two month."[26][27][28]

24 August[edit]

On August 24, 2011, unidentified aircraft attacked suspected al-Qaeda militants near Zinjibar. The strikes reportedly killed 30 militants and wounded 40 others.[29]

30 August[edit]

According to Yemeni officials as reported in the Long War Journal, US airstrikes in southeast Abyan Governorate on August 30 to September 1, 2011 killed 30 AQAP militants. The militants were reportedly engaged in combat with Yemeni military forces.[30]

21 September[edit]

Two airstrikes by US-operated aircraft on September 21, 2011 reportedly killed four AQAP fighters in Abyan and seven AQAP fighters in Shaqra.[31]

30 September[edit]

On September 30, 2011, US drone-launched missiles killed four people, including al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, in Al Jawf Governorate. The strike also killed Samir Khan, American-born editor of Inspire magazine. The strike marked the first known time that the US had deliberately targeted US citizens in a drone attack.[32]

5 October[edit]

A reported drone strike on militant hide-outs east of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan Governorate, on October 5, 2011 killed five AQAP militants.[33] According to Yemeni government officials, a US airstrike on October 14, 2011 killed seven AQAP militants, including Egyptian-born Ibrahim al-Bana, AQAP's media chief.[34]

14 October[edit]

On October 14, 2011, a similar drone strike killed al-Awlaki's 17-year-old son, Abdelrahman al-Awlaki and eight others.[35]

22 December[edit]

A drone strike on December 22, 2011 near Zinjibar reportedly killed Abdulrahman al-Wuhayshi, a relative of Yemeni al-Qaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi. A further eight militants were reported killed in an air strike near Jaʿār, Abyan Governorate, on December 17, 2011.[36]

2012[edit]

31 January[edit]

An airstrike, reportedly performed by US aircraft, on January 31, 2012 near the city of Lawdar in Abyan province, killed 11 AQAP militants. The dead reportedly included Abdul Monem al-Fahtani, a participant in the USS Cole bombing.[37]

11 March[edit]

Yemeni Civil War (2012-03-11) Territory held by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and Ansar al-Sharia (tan) included much of eastern Yemen.

The Long War Journal reported that in 2012, the US carried out its first drone strikes against AQAP in Hadramout Governorte in May 2012, from mid-May until the end of the year, the US launched seven attacks in the Governorate- a total of 41 drone strikes that took place in Yemen in 2012.[38]

Drones engaged in three attacks over three days from March 9–11, 2012. The first strike targeted an AQAP hideout near Al Baydah, Baydah province, reportedly killing local AQAP leader Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani and 16 of his militants. The second strike hit Jaʿār in Abyan province, reportedly killing 20 AQAP fighters. The third strike, also in Jaʿār, reportedly killed three AQAP militants and targeted a storage location for weapons AQAP had seized after overrunning a Yemeni military base in Al Koud the week before.[39] A fourth drone strike on March 14, 2012 in Al Bydah reportedly killed four AQAP militants in a vehicle.[40]

11 April[edit]

On April 11, 14 militants were killed in a drone strike in Lawdar town, northeast of Zinjibar, Abyan province.[41] A drone strike on April 22, in the Al Samadah area, near the border of Marib and Al Jawf provinces, killed AQAP senior leader Mohammed Saeed al Umda (also known as Ghareeb al Taizi).[42]

6 June[edit]

On May 6, 2012 a suspected US drone strike killed Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso and another al-Qaeda militant in southern Shabwah Governorate.[43]

2013[edit]

In 2013, 6 of the 26 strikes in Yemen, were carried out in Hadramout Governorate.[38]

In late July, US officials uncovered an al-Qaeda plot (emanating from Yemen) which led the US to close down more than 20 embassies and diplomatic facilities across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In response between July 27 and August 10, the US launched 9 strikes in Yemen; no drone strikes were reported for seven weeks prior to July 27; the strikes were intended to disrupt the plot and take out AQAP’s top leadership cadre and senior operatives.[38]

On December 12, 15 people[44][45] were killed in a wedding convoy in the District of Rada' which falls in the Al Bayda' Governorate.[46] The US drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying suspects of the AQAP organization.[47] Five of the killed had been suspected, but the remainder were civilians.[48]

2014[edit]

Yemeni Civil War (2015-02-25) Territory held by AQAP (grey) included portions of many provinces in eastern Yemen.

On January 8, the Long War Journal reported that 2 AQAP fighters were killed a US drone strike as they travelled by vehicle in the Al Qutn area of Hadramaut Governorate, in the first recorded US drone strike in Yemen or Pakistan of the year.[38]

On March 3, 2014 an airstrike, believed to have been carried out by a US drone, killed three people suspected of being members of AQAP. Mujahid Gaber Saleh al Shabwani, who is one of Yemen's 25 most wanted AQAP operatives, is thought to have been killed in the strike.[49]

On April 20 and 21, 2014, three drone strikes by the US killed at least two dozen suspected AQAP members and destroyed one of the group's training camps in southern Yemen, according to a statement released by the Yemeni Interior Ministry. In a statement, the group admitted that five civilians had been wounded and three killed during the attack.[50]

On June 13, 2014 a suspected US drone strike targeted a car in the Mafraq al-Saeed area of the Shabwah province, killing five alleged AQAP operatives on board.[51]

2015[edit]

After the closure of the US Embassy in Sana'a, US counterterrorism officials said the CIA was forced to scale back its operations in Yemen. Of the approximately 200 Americans based at the embassy, "dozens" were working for the CIA.[52]

2016[edit]

Yemeni Civil War (current) Territory held by AQAP (white) extends westward primarily through Hadramaut, Shabwah, Abyan, and Lahij Governorates.

The US confirmed 32 drone strikes in Yemen during 2016, resulting in 88 to 123 deaths; a further 10 or 11 reported strikes were not confirmed by the military; these resulted in 23 deaths.[53]

On March 22, a US drone strike close to the AQAP headquarters, the port city of Mukalla, capital of Hadramaut Governorate, killed 40–50 fighters.[54]

On March 27, a US drone strike killed 8 AQAP fighters in the southern Abyan Governorate, inside the group's territory.[55]

On October 21, the US said it killed five AQAP fighters in an airstrike in Marib Governorate.[56]

2017[edit]

On January 21, two US drone strikes killed field commander Abu Anis al-Abi and two other al-Qaeda operatives in Bayda province, security and tribal officials said.[57]

On March 4, US armed drones and warplanes conducted more than 30 airstrikes against suspected al-Qaeda positions in three Yemeni provinces.[58]

On October 2, 2017, U.S. Central Command stated that a MQ-9 Reaper had been shot down in western Yemen the previous day. Local videos of the event suggested it had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile.[59]

2018[edit]

On April 23, 2018, a UAE drone strike killed senior Houthi leader Saleh Ali al-Sammad in Al Hudaydah Governorate.[4]

On July 6, 2018, a US drone strike killed seven alleged al-Qaeda militants in Shabwah Governorate.[60]

2019[edit]

On January 1, 2019, al-Qaeda operative and 2000 USS Cole bombing accomplice Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a US precision airstrike in Ma'rib Governorate.[61][62]

On January 10, 2019, a Houthi drone attack on Al Anad Air Base killed several pro Yemen government soldiers.[8]

On June 24, 2019, three drone attacks killed at least 5 militants in the Al Bayda, Yemen.[63]

Cumulative[edit]

Newamerica.net estimates that a total of 127 US drone attacks have been conducted in Yemen from 2002-2016; 1 in 2002, 1 in 2010, 9 in 2011, 47 in 2012, 24 in 2013, 17 in 2014, 24 in 2015, and 4 in 2016. Additionally, 15 manned airstrikes have been conducted, though manned aircraft have only been used once since 2012.[64] The Long War Journal gives a much higher figure of 334 from 2009-2018.[65]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Drone War: Yemen". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Yemen Leaders Killed". Washington, DC, USA: New America. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Drone Strikes: Yemen". Washington, DC, USA: New America. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/04/27/drone-wars-how-the-uaes-chinese-made-drone-is-changing-the-war-in-yemen/
  5. ^ Saudi drone shot down in Yemen
  6. ^ https://www.ict.org.il/Article/2331/The_Houthi_Drone_Threat_in_Yemen#gsc.tab=0
  7. ^ Al Qaeda Arrests Worldwide Archived October 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine FOX News
  8. ^ a b https://thedefensepost.com/2019/01/10/yemen-houthi-drone-kills-troops-lahij-al-anad-airbase/
  9. ^ https://www.fpri.org/article/2019/01/low-tech-high-reward-the-houthi-drone-attack/
  10. ^ Jeffrey Addicott (November 7, 2002), "The Yemen Attack: Illegal Assassination or Lawful Killing?", HTML, retrieved April 26, 2006
  11. ^ "Drones spur Yemenis' distrust of government and U.S." Reuters. October 27, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  12. ^ "Suspected U.S. drone missile strike leaves 2 militants dead in Yemen". The Daily Star Newspaper – Lebanon. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  13. ^ "US drone 'kills two in attack on Saudi Qaeda chief'". Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Mazzetti, Mark, "Drone Strike In Yemen Was Aimed At Awlaki", New York Times, May 7, 2011, p. 11; Coker, Margaret, "Drone Targets Yemeni Cleric", Wall Street Journal, May 7, 2011, p. 1.
  15. ^ Roggio, Bill, "AQAP confirms deaths of 2 commanders in US airstrike", Long War Journal, July 21, 2011.
  16. ^ Mazzetti, Mark, "U.S. Is Intensifying A Secret Campaign Of Yemen Airstrikes", New York Times, June 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Associated Press, "Secret CIA drone base being built to target Yemen militants", Japan Times, June 16, 2011, p. 1.
  18. ^ DeYoung, Karen, "U.S. Air Attacks In Yemen Intensify", Washington Post, September 17, 2011, p. 1.
  19. ^ Whitlock, Craig, and Greg Miller, "U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say", Washington Post, September 21, 2011.
  20. ^ Barnes, Julian E., "U.S. Expands Drone Flights To Take Aim At East Africa", Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2011, p. 1.
  21. ^ Arrabyee, Nasser, and Mark Mazzetti, "U.S. Strikes In Yemen Said To Kill 8 Militants", New York Times, July 15, 2011, p. 9.
  22. ^ Roggio, Bill, "US airstrike kills 6 al Qaeda fighters in Yemen: report", Long War Journal, July 14, 2011.
  23. ^ "US airstrike kills 6 Islamic militants in Yemen". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  24. ^ Arrabyee, Nasser; Mazzetti, Mark (July 14, 2011). "U.S. Strikes in Yemen Said to Kill 8 Militants". The New York Times.
  25. ^ Whitlock, Craig, and Mohammed al-Qadhi, "Al-Qaeda Fugitive In Yemen Eludes Attack", Washington Post, July 16, 2011, p. 9.
  26. ^ Al-Qadhi, Mohammed, "Airstrikes Kill Militants In S. Yemen", Washington Post, August 2, 2011, p. 9.
  27. ^ Wan, William (August 2, 2011). "Militants killed in air attacks in south Yemen". The Washington Post.
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed, Associated Press, "Yemen strikes kill 30 al-Qaida-linked fighters", Military Times, August 24, 2011.
  30. ^ Roggio, Bill, "US airstrikes in southern Yemen kill 30 AQAP fighters: report", Long War Journal, September 1, 2011.
  31. ^ Roggio, Bill, "US airstrikes kill AQAP fighters in southern Yemen", Long War Journal, September 22, 2011.
  32. ^ Almasmari, Hakim, Margaret Coker, and Siobhan Gorman, "Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure", Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2011, p. 1.
  33. ^ "Drone Strike In Yemen". New York Times. October 6, 2011.
  34. ^ Associated Press, "Yemen Says Local Al-Qaida Chief, 6 Others Killed", Arizona Daily Star, October 15, 2011.
  35. ^ LAURA KASINOF (October 15, 2011). "Strikes Hit Yemen as Violence Escalates in Capital". New York Times.
  36. ^ "U.S. Drone Kills Yemen Al Qaeda Leader's Relative: Source". Reuters. December 23, 2011.
  37. ^ DeYoung, Karen, "U.S. Airstrike Targets Al-Qaeda In Yemen", Washington Post, February 1, 2012, p. 10; Roggio, Bill, "US drone strike kills 11 AQAP leaders, fighters: report", Long War Journal, January 31, 2012.
  38. ^ a b c d "US drones kill 2 AQAP fighters in eastern Yemen". Long War Journal. January 8, 2014.
  39. ^ Roggio, Bill, "US drone strike kills 3 AQAP fighters in Yemen", Long War Journal, March 12, 2012.
  40. ^ Roggio, Bill, "US drone strike kills 4 AQAP fighters", Long War Journal, March 15, 2012.
  41. ^ "U.S. drone kills 14 al-Qaida militants in Yemen's south". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  42. ^ Roggio, Bill, "AQAP confirms commander linked to Osama bin Laden killed in drone strike", Long War Journal, April 30, 2012.
  43. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (Associated Press), "Airstrike kills senior al-Qaida leader in Yemen", Yahoo! News, May 7, 2012.
  44. ^ "Yemen wedding convoy strike highlights civilian drone war toll". Yahoo News UK. December 13, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  45. ^ "Drone strike in Yemen killed 17, mostly civilians". Your Middle East. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  46. ^ "US drone strike kills civilians in central Yemen". Long War Journal. December 12, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  47. ^ "Yemen says U.S. drone struck a wedding convoy, killing 14 - CNN.com". CNN. December 13, 2013.
  48. ^ Ali, Zaid; King, Laura (December 13, 2013). "U.S. drone strike on Yemen wedding party kills 17". Los Angeles Times.
  49. ^ Bill Roggio: US kills 3 AQAP operatives in Yemen drone strike, March 3, 2014
  50. ^ Schmitt, Eric (April 21, 2014). "U.S. Drones and Yemeni Forces Kill Qaeda-Linked Fighters, Officials Say". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  51. ^ "Five killed in Yemen drone strike". Al Jazeera. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  52. ^ Greg Miller and Hugh Naylor (February 11, 2015). "CIA scales back presence and operations in Yemen, home of potent al-Qaeda affiliate". Washington Post.
  53. ^ Searle. "Yemen: Reported US covert actions 2016". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  54. ^ "US strike 'kills 40 militants in Yemen'". Bbc.co.uk. March 23, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  55. ^ "Suspected U.S. air strikes in Yemen kill 14 militants: residents,..." Reuters.com. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  56. ^ "US military kills 5 AQAP fighters in central Yemen". Longwarjournal.org.
  57. ^ "Suspected U.S. drone strike kills three alleged al Qaeda members in Yemen, a first for Trump". CBS News.
  58. ^ "Trump steps up airstrikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen; more ground raids could follow". Los Angeles Times. March 4, 2017.
  59. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (October 2, 2017). "U.S. Reaper Drone Shot Down Over Yemen". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  60. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (July 8, 2018). "Suspected US drone strike kills 7 al-Qaida members in Yemen". Sightline Media Group. The tribal leaders said on Friday that the operatives were killed when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle in the southern province of Shabwa. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
  61. ^ https://www.npr.org/2019/01/06/682658506/militant-suspected-of-uss-cole-bombing-is-killed-in-u-s-airstrike-trump-says
  62. ^ https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1081966033966190593
  63. ^ Bergen, Peter; Sterman, David; Salyk-Virk, Melissa; Sims, Alyssa; Ford, Albert. "Drone Strikes: Yemen". New America. New America.
  64. ^ New America Foundation, Drone Wars in Yemen. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  65. ^ https://www.longwarjournal.org/us-airstrikes-in-the-long-war Accessed 2019.

External links[edit]