Monday, September 3, 2012
13 more killed in U.S. drone strike in Yemen
A tribal chief reports that an air strike in central Yemen Sept. 2 on a vehicle killed 10 suspected Al Qaeda members and 3 women companions. There were two vehicles targeted but only one was hit.
The tribal chief claimed the raid killed the guards of Abdulraouf al-Dahab and their companions but the missiles missed the vehicle of al-Dahab a local Al Qaeda leader who escaped unharmed. The plane, probably a drone, fired two missiles.
The attack and the toll were confirmed by other security and local sources. The U.S. is the only country in the area that has drones capable of making these attacks but they are rarely admitted to be drone attacks either by the U.S. or Yemeni authorities.
Dahab is the brother of another militant leader Tarek al-Dahab who overran the town of Radaa that is 80 miles southeast of Sanaa the capital.in January although he left the city later the same month after pressure from local tribal chiefs. However, militants continue actions against the governnment. Tarek was later killed.
Militant Islamists took over much of several provinces and several cities last summer but Yemeni security forces aided by U.S special forces advisors drove the militants out of most areas. However, the militants made a tactical retreat into the mountains and have struck back with many terrorist attacks. In turn the U.S. has attacked militants with drones with increaasing frequency. With Americans concentrating on the upcoming November elections little attention is paid to the U.S. involvement in Yemen.
In a separate incident Sunday a number of people were killed in clashes between pro-government tribesmen and militants in South Yemen. Two militants were among those killed in the attacks. Areas recently retaken by government forces still suffer from insecurity and constant attacks. There is also a separatist movement in the south that is also opposed to the central government of President Hadi.