A US drone strike destroyed a car in the southern Yemen province of Shabwa today, killing all five people within. One of the slain was identified as a leader in the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) faction named Musaad al-Habashi.
Like most “leaders” killed in drone strikes, Habashi had never before been mentioned by officials as a top threat, or indeed mentioned at all, prior to today’s announcement of his death, and it is totally unclear what position he held.
The other four people killed in the attack were totally unidentified, and were notably not even labeled suspects by Yemeni officials, something they usually do as a matter of course. Whether this suggests they know the identities of the others or not remains unclear.
US drone strikes have become increasingly common in Yemen in recent months, as it remains one of few country whose leader publicly endorses the attacks, and ignores the growing complaints of civilian deaths.