US Drone Strike Kills Four in Central Yemen

Attack Destroyed Pickup Truck, Killing 'Suspects'

A US drone fired missiles at a pickup truck in the Maarib Province today, destroying the vehicle and killing four people within. Tribal sources said the truck belonged to a mid level al-Qaeda commander.

The commander, identified as Jafaar al-Shabwani, was believed to be one of the four people killed in the strike, though the identities of the other three are completely unknown beyond being labeled “suspects.”

This is considerably more detail than most victims of US drone strikes in Yemen get, though as usual the US has offered no statement at all on the incident.

Maarib is one of several provinces in central and southern Yemen that is more or less entirely out of the central government’s control, with tribal factions the dominant forces. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has set up shop in some such areas, though at times they have faced major opposition from tribal leaders.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of