US Drones Killed Scores, Now Yemen Scrambles to ID ‘Suspects’

Hopes to Find al-Qaeda Figures Among the Slain

Three days of US drone strikes and at least one ambush involving US ground troops in Bayda have left scores of people dead across Yemen’s south and east, in what Yemeni officials touted as an unprecedented offensive.

Yemen may be finding it oversold the bloodletting somewhat, however, as now they are faced with 70-plus bodies, who they have all officially labeled “suspects,” and none of them has actually been identified yet.

US officials cited a “sniffer dog” as having confirmed one of the ambush slain was Ibraham al-Asiri, and Yemen is frantically running DNA tests on the bodies hoping one of them actually is Asiri, because if not that’s just more egg on their face.

Officials say it is conceivable that either Asiri or AQAP militant Nasser al-Wahayshi are among the slain, and while the official Yemeni response to attacks usually begins and ends with labeling everyone “suspects,” the sheer number of dead virtually obliges them to find evidence of someone meaningful slain.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of