Written By: Shuaib M. al-Mosawa
Article Date: Jan 20, 2013 - 12:02:42 AM
Predator drone firing missile ©dronewarsuk.wordpress.com
Four suspected al-Qaeda militants in Marib province were killed by an American drone strike early this evening. An earlier drone strike in the same area had missed the target.
The Marib governor’s press office said that two U.S. drone strikes attacked a car carrying suspected al-Qaeda militants in an area of Wadi Abeeda district, killing four militants. “So far we were informed that four al-Qaeda militants were killed by the attack.” said the press office.
Locals confirmed that there were two strikes. The first one, launched at 7pm this evening but missed its target, fell in an area called Al Daleel. Ra’ed Fadl Abdullah, a local who says he was near the attack site said, “It’s a populated area but it hurt no one.” He said that the second strike hit the militants’ car at Ghodaiqah area, some 8 km away from the first attack. The other three people killed are believed to be militants but could not be identified as the corpses were charred beyond recognition, said the governor’s press office.
Ra’ed said that one militant was identified as Ismaeel Bin Saeed Bin Jameel. Ismaeel is the brother of Ali Bin Saeed, the then Amir of al-Wadi district who was killed in neighboring Abyan province fighting alongside al-Qaeda. While Ismaeel is considered by locals to be an al-Qaeda militant, Ra’ed said he is not considered as a leading figure. Ismaeel and his brother are said to be from Al Hutaiq family, whose members have been known to have joined al-Qaeda in the past. “We are not sure that Ismaeel was killed but the car attacked by the drone was Ismaeel’s.” the Marib governor’s press office said.
Locals, of whom some are likely to be Al Qaeda militants, have now carried the corpses to the Gatwa graveyard of Al Hutaiq for burial.
The first attack that missed the militants was in a populated area, and angered the locals. “We are anticipating a reaction.” the governor’s press office said, adding that locals will likely block the Marib-Sana’a road to protest the attack.
The U.S. has escalated its drone campaign since 2012 to target suspected militants of Yemen based al-Qaeda, which the U.S. considers the most active of the global militant jihad network.
President Abdu Mansoor Hadi has publicly acknowledged allowing U.S. drone strikes in Yemen. While drone attacks have killed a number of Al Qaeda militants, many civilians have also been killed in Yemen, including women and children.
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