A US drone strike, the first such strike of 2016, has attacked the central Yemen province of Shabwa this weekend, destroying a car traveling through the desert in the eastern part of the province, and killing at least three people within.
The slain were not identified, but reports as usual labeled them “suspected militants.” Al-Qaeda is known to have a presence in the area, but there was no indication beyond that in anything made public that the car was suspicious in any other way.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of the Saudi invasion of Yemen last year to amass considerable territory of its own, including the port city of al-Mukalla. The US drone strikes in the second half of 2015 mostly centered on that city.
The US withdrew all of its forces providing targeting data for the drone war in Yemen long ago, but has continued the drone war irrespective of this. This has made the identities of those being killed even less apparent.