Three more drone strikes killed a total of an estimated 12 suspected al-Qaeda militants in Yemen on Thursday, Yemeni officials said. As reported by AP, these were the sixth and seventh drone attack in the small Arab nation in less than two weeks, which has killed over 31 people, according to CNN. The country is on high alert over concern of terrorist threat. Yemen is home to the most concerning al-Qaeda offshoot, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The Obama Administration has been picking up its anti-al-Qaeda drone activities in light of the recently intercepted communique’s between Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as the head of al-Qaeda, and Nasir al-Wahishi, leader of the AQAP. The messages discussed that the leaders “wanted to do something big.” This lead to the closure of roughly 20 embassies and consulates in North Africa, Israel, the Middle East, and south Asia. The government buildings have remained closed since.
Although the US Government does not officially comment or confirm or deny information about their drone activities in Yemen, leaks from related officials have shined lights on the recent attacks. Here are the attacks from the last two weeks that we’re aware of.
July 30: A US drone destroyed a car in the southern province of Shabwa, killing three people in the strike.
August 6: Al Jazeera reported a drone strike killing four suspected fighters in the eastern Marib province of Yemen. They did confirm the victims were Yemen nationals.
August 7: CBS News reported that a drone strike killed at least 6 militants, foiling a terror attack on “Yemeni oil infrastructure and cities.” They also reported that the attack occured “in the country’s south.”
August 8: Two separate strikes were reported to have killed a total of nine suspected al-Qaida militants. Two civilians were among those killed in the strike, which targeted two vehicles, reported CNN. A third strike was reported later in the day, killing 3 suspected al-Qaeda militants, according to Yemeni officials.