Yemen Accidentally Kills Own Deputy Governor in US-Backed Air Strike

Deputy Governor's Relatives Attack Oil Pipeline in Retaliation

The Yemeni government’s disastrous ham-fistedness in dealing with its assorted conflicts struck again today, when an air strike that was ostensibly aimed at an “al-Qaeda meeting” struck and killed one of the government’s top officials.

The attack instantly killed Deputy Governor Jaber al-Shabwani and at least three other travel companions. Ironically Shabwani was traveling to an al-Qaeda auxiliary meeting at the time in an attempt to convince them to surrender to the government.

Shabwani’s family, a powerful tribe in the area, wasted no time in retaliating for his killing, and were reported to have blown up a key oil pipeline just hours after his death. There were also reports of rioting in the streets of the Ma’arib region and Shabwani tribesmen blocking the roads to the capital city.

Though details are still difficult to come by some outlets are reporting that the attack was actually conducted by the US military on Yemen’s behalf, or that it was conducted with the help of the US military, though the US government refuses to confirm or deny either at this point.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of