A US drone strike against the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa destroyed a car and killed four unidentified people within, who were all quickly labeled “suspected al-Qaeda militants.”
Locals reported finding al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) propaganda brochures on the ground near the destroyed car, which appears to be the source of the conclusion that the slain were somehow linked to AQAP.
The Shabwa Province, like much of the eastern portion of the country, is sparsely populated, and while there was some fighting last summer over the main highways between the pro-Saudi forces and the Shi’ite Houthis, neither is believed to have a serious foothold in the province itself.
AQAP’s main territorial holdings are on the southern coast of Yemen, including the Hadrawmut capital of Mukalla, which they seized early in the Saudi war, and which neither side has made a serious attempt to recapture.
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