The Yemeni government is suggesting the past two days of bloody US drone strikes are just the tip of the iceberg, and part of a “massive and unprecedented” operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Officials said it was too early to tell how many people had been killed in the drone strikes so far, but locals have it at least at 46, including civilian bystanders. Most are officially labeled “suspects,” though the government conceded they don’t know if any “high-value” targets were actually hit.
They insisted one of today’s strikes hit a “training facility,” destroying it entirely. The previous reports had suggested all of Saturday’s strikes and many of today’s had actually hit cars on highways, and not buildings, but there may have been some buildings hit as well this afternoon.
It is unclear what precipitated this latest round of attacks in Yemen, though there is some speculation that the US “missed” a high-profile AQAP meeting in Yemen earlier this month, and this may be their attempt to make up for that.