Another US drone strike hit Yemen’s Shabwa Province today, killing at least seven people who were described as “suspects.” It is the second strike in less than 24 hours, with a hit yesterday killing four others. It is also the fifth US strike in less than two weeks.
None of the slain were identified, but the US strikes are reportedly part of an effort to foil an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) plot against Yemen, which the Yemeni government says is now completely foiled.
According to Yemeni officials, AQAP plotted to take over several cities in southeastern Yemen, including key port towns and the major cities of Hadramaut Province, blowing up pipelines in an attempt to sew confusion.
The ports were seen as the key to the plot, with large numbers of foreign oil and gas workers in place. The AQAP fighters reportedly planned to seize the facilities wearing Yemeni military uniforms and take the foreigners hostage.
While Yemen says the plot is entirely foiled and over, the US has yet to weigh in, nor has it indicated when it plans to reopen its embassies across the region.