An official announced on Sunday that a drone attack apparently carried out by the United States, killed around five supposed Al Qaeda militants, which includes a local commander from central Yemen’s Bayda province. In Yemen, the US military can be regarded as the only military force that handles and manages armed drones. An official from Bayda province stated that the five suspects were armed and were inside their car when the drone aimed at them. During the attack, even a local militant leader referred as ‘Dahab, meaning gold in Arabic was killed. However, the official didn’t offer any further details. The US regards the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to be the most deadly branch of the radical group. Drone attacks against AQAP increased after US President Donald Trump took oath in January 2017.
AQAP has expanded amidst the chaos within the poverty-stricken country which is already torn by the civil war and it also opposes the Saudi-backed government forces fighting against the Houthi militants. The conflict in Yemen increased when the Saudi-led forces arbitrated in 2015. It resulted in the death of over 10,000 people and leaving 22 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid, according to a survey by the UN. However, rights groups assume that the actual death toll might be even more.
On 21st November, Save the Children charity stated that a predicted 85,000 children below the age of 5 might have died of hunger and disease since the onset of Yemen’s civil war in 2015. Over 22 million people that might be around three-quarters of the population are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in order to survive in the conflict-hit country.