Late last night a US drone strike killed four al Qaeda commanders and fighters in Marib province east of Sana’a, the Yemeni capital. The strike is the third in Yemen so far this month.
Arabic media reports indicate that the drones fired two missiles at two vehicles carrying al Qaeda operatives as they traveled in the Wadi Abida area of Al Shabwa district in Marib.
The two al Qaeda leaders confirmed killed in the attack were identified as Ebad Mobarak Al Shabwani and Ja’afar Mohammad Jaber Al Shabwani. Ebad and Ja’afar were not on Yemen’s most recent list of wanted al Qaeda leaders. The identities of the other two killed in the strike were not confirmed, but Arabic new sources suggest that they too were members of al Qaeda.
The Al Shabwan tribe has been recurrently involved in al Qaeda activity in the country, and drone strikes have targeted a number of the tribe members. Most recently, Mujahid Gaber Saleh Al Shabwani, an AQAP leader who had returned from fighting in Iraq, was killed in Shabwa province by a US drone strike.