US drones attacked a vehicle in Yemen’s Dhamar Province today, killing five people, one of them identified as a local al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader by the Yemeni government.
The identified victim was Hamid al-Ramdi, while Yemeni officials say they aren’t sure who the other four are, but speculated that they are “followers” of Ramdi’s. He is considered a leader in the small village the attack took place in.
AQAP officials have been making much of the drone strikes in recent days, particularly of the number of civilian bystanders slain in the attacks, and the reports that the drones are being flown out of a Saudi base. AQAP has urged Saudis to rebel against the king for allowing US drones in their territory.
Unlike Pakistan, which has protested against the US strikes, the Hadi government has praised the US for launching such strikes, and told protesting Yemenis that 9/11 obliges their government to allow the US to launch attacks indefinitely.