ISIS Car Bomb Attacks Kill Dozens in Yemeni Capital

ISIS has claimed credit for a series of car bombing attacks against targets inside the capital city of Sanaa, killing at least 31 people, and as many as 50 by some accounts, in bombings that targeted Shi’ite mosques and the headquarters of the Shi’ite Houthi movement.

ISIS’ official statement claimed four separate car bombs against Shi’ite “apostates,” saying it was revenge against the Houthis for their own operations inside Yemen. Locals described enormous bomb blasts at the sites of the attacks, saying they’d initially mistook them for airstrikes.

ISIS has carried out bombing attacks against Shi’ite mosques in Sanaa in the past, with a March attack killed over 100 civilian worshippers and leveling a major mosque during Friday prayers. Today’s strikes were scheduled around the start of Ramadan.

ISIS is still not considered wildly powerful inside Yemen, and is far smaller than al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the dominant Islamist movement in the region, but these attacks continue to prove their ability, even as a minor faction, to do big damage in the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.