Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen refers to the armed conflict between the Yemeni government with United States assistance, and al-Qaeda-affiliated cells. The strife is often categorized as a sub-conflict in the greater Global War on Terror.
|Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen|
|Part of the Yemeni Crisis (2011–present) and|
the War on Terror
|Commanders and leaders|
Nasir al-Wuhayshi † |
Abu Hamza al-Zinjibari †
Said Ali al-Shihri †
Ibrahim al-Asiri †
Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi †
Anwar al-Awlaki †
Othman al-Ghamdi †
Ibrahim al-Rubaysh †
Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari †
|Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Self-declared "Caliph" of ISIL)||
Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi|
Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr (from 2016)
Khaled Bahah (2014–16)
Mohammed Basindawa (2011–14)
Muhammad Nasir Ahmad Ali
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Muhammad Mujawar
Abdul Qadir Bajamal
George W. Bush
Advisors & Special Forces:
US Forces: 1,500
|Casualties and losses|
at least 25 (2010) |
at least 279 (2011)
at least 48 killed (January–March 2012)
at least 318 killed (since April 2012 and 2nd Battle of Lawdar) 
429 killed (since May 2012)
Total killed: 1,099+
at least 96 (2010)
Saudi Arabia: 2 border guards killed
39 civilians killed (2010) |
85 civilians killed (2011)
3 civilians killed (January – March 2012)
at least 35 killed (since April 2012 and 2nd Battle of Lawdar)
at least 26 militiamen and 34 civilians killed since 12 May 
Total dead: 2,207+ (as of September 2012)[original research?]
|AQAP often exaggerates government casualties, while not reporting their own. The death toll for members of the group is probably significantly larger than officially reported. Because of the chaotic situation in the country during the Yemeni revolution, is it probable that military casualties during 2011 were also under reported.|
Government crackdown against al-Qaeda cells began in 2001, and reached an escalation point on 14 January 2010, when Yemen declared open war on al-Qaeda. In addition to battling al Qaeda across several provinces, Yemen is also contending with Shia insurgency in the north and militant separatists in the south. Fighting with al-Qaeda escalated during the course of the 2011 Yemeni revolution, with Jihadists seizing most of the Abyan Governorate and declaring it an Emirate at the close of March. A second wave of violence occurred throughout early 2012, with militants claiming territory across the southwest amid heavy combat with government forces.
On 19 March 2015, the conflict escalated into a full-scale civil war.
Yemen has come under pressure to act against al-Qaeda, since attacks on its two main allies, Saudi Arabia and the United States, by militants coming from Yemeni soil. Previous attacks linked to al-Qaeda in Yemen include the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, the 2008 American Embassy attack, and several attacks against foreign tourists.
Yemen had already intensified operations against al-Qaeda in late 2009, when a Yemen-based wing of the group claimed to be behind the failed 25 December 2009 attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner, itself a retaliation against an attack against a training camp in Abyan on 17 December, killing many civilians. News reports have indicated substantial American involvement in support of Yemeni operations against al Qaeda since late 2009, including training, intelligence sharing, "several dozen troops" from the Joint Special Operations Command, and limited direct involvement in counterterrorism operations.
Early insurgency (1998–2002)Edit
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (November 2012)
Government crackdown (2009–2010)Edit
- In 2009, members of the British Special Air Service and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment were deployed to Yemen and Somalia to carry out operations against Islamist militants in both countries amid concerns that the countries were becoming alternative bases for the extremists. In Yemen they operate as part of a counter-terrorism training unit and assisting in missions to kill or capture AQAP leaders. Specifically, they were hunting down for the planners of the Cargo planes bomb plot. The SAS was also liaising with local commandos and provided protection to embassy personnel.
- 17 December 2009: Yemeni ground forces carried out raids in Sana'a (arresting 13), Arhab (killing 4 and arresting 4), and attacked an alleged training camp in Al-Maajala, Abyan, killing 24–50, including 14 women and 21 children. According to ABC News, American cruise missiles were also part of the raids. The U.S. denied they were involved in the strikes, despite evidence from Amnesty International.
- 24 December 2009: U.S. drones or missiles struck an al-Qaeda meeting in Shabwa, killing some 30 individuals. One target of the strike was Anwar al-Awlaki.
- 4 January 2010: Yemeni security forces killed two alleged militants a day earlier north of the capital.
- 6 January 2010: Yemeni forces arrested three suspected al-Qaeda militants who were wounded in a raid, that was carried out by security forces.
- 13 January 2010: Yemeni army launches Operation Blow to the Head in Sa'dah city, aimed at both Sunni al-Qaeda and Shi'a Houthi fighters, in which al-Qaeda leader Abdullah al-Mehdar was killed.
- 14 January 2010: A Yemen army air strike has killed at least six suspected al-Qaeda fighters in the north of the country, a Yemeni security official said.
- 17 January 2010: A radical Islamist Somali group claimed it was exchanging some of its fighters with those in Yemen. Yemeni militants are reportedly also sending fighters in return. This exchange in fighters shows the close links it has with the country of Yemen, an al-Shabab spokesman said.
- 20 January 2010: The Yemeni air force bombed the home of a suspected al-Qaeda leader, Ayed al-Shabwani, who the military had claimed was dead a week before this bombing.
- 21 January 2010: In order to "halt terrorist infiltration," Yemen decided to only issue visas through embassies, ceasing the practice of issuing visas to foreigners when they land at Yemeni airports.
- 8 February 2010: al-Qaeda leader Said Ali al-Shihri released an online audio message calling for jihad in the Arabian Peninsula.
First Battle of LawdarEdit
Between 19-25 August 2010, the Yemeni army launched a major offensive in the city of Lawdar controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Several militants including local leaders of Al Qaeda were killed during the clashes. On 25 August 2010, Yemeni authorities claimed to regain control of the southern town of Lawdar, a great part of which was in the grip of suspected Al-Qaeda militants during days of clashes with the army.
Further attacks in ZinjibarEdit
On 25 August 2010, gunmen on motorcycles attacked a military patrol in Yemen's restive south on Wednesday, killing four soldiers and wounding one, a security official said. The official said an early investigation indicated the attackers were members of al-Qaida, which lately appears to have stepped up high-profile attacks in the south of this impoverished country. He did not provide details. The attack occurred in the Abyan provincial capital of Zinjibar and brought to 53 the number of soldiers killed by al-Qaida since May, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Battle of HutaEdit
|Battle of Huta|
|Yemen||al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula|
|Casualties and losses|
|~4 killed, 9 wounded||5 killed, 5 wounded, 32 captured|
|15,000 Yemeni civilians flee, at least 3 wounded|
On 20 September 2010, a number of militants attacked and took control of the village of Hota in the southern parts of the country, prompting the Army to counter-attack. This happened as the top U.S. counterterrorism advisor John O. Brennan was on a visit to Yemen and discussed cooperation in the fight against Al-Qaeda, according to the White House. Brennan met President Ali Abdullah Saleh and delivered a letter from Obama expressing U.S. support for a "unified, stable, democratic and prosperous Yemen", National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement. "President Saleh and Mr Brennan discussed cooperation against the continuing threat of Al-Qaeda, and Mr Brennan conveyed the United States' condolences to the Yemeni people for the loss of Yemeni security officers and citizens killed in recent Al-Qaeda attacks, " Hammer said.
Al-Qaeda militants besieged in the southern Yemeni town of Hota were reportedly using residents as human shields in the second major clash between them and troops in recent weeks. According to officials "al-Qaeda elements are preventing residents from leaving Hota, to use them as human shields".
On 24 September 2010, the government siege of al-Hota ended after security forces took control of the town in the southern province of Shabwa.
- 8 January 2011: Armed suspected al-Qaeda militants attacked a Yemeni army checkpoint in Lahj killing 4 soldiers a day after 12 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Lawdar.
- 6 March 2011: Armed suspected Al Qaeda gunmen shoot dead 4 soldiers from the elite Republican Guard as they passed in a truck near Marib.
- 26 March 2011: al-Qaeda captured the town of Jaar in the southern part of Yemen.
- 27 March 2011: al-Qaeda militants captured the town of al-Husn, the strategic mountain of Khanfar, and a weapons factory. Fighting in Jaar captured the day prior is being reported.
- 31 March 2011: Al-Qaeda Emirate in Yemen is declared
On 27 May 2011, about 300 Islamic militants attacked and captured the coastal city of Zinjibar (population 20,000). During the takeover of the town, the militants killed seven soldiers, including a colonel, and one civilian.
In the months that followed the militants entrenched themselves within the city as the Army resorted to aerial bombardment and artillery attacks. The insurgents responded with daily bombings and suicide attacks. By the end of the year almost 800 had been killed in total, with casualties almost equal on both sides.
On 4 March 2012, militants launched an attack against an Army artillery battalion on the outskirts of Zinjibar, overrunning it and killing 187 soldiers and wounding 135. 32 al-Qaeda fighters were also killed during the fighting. The militants attacked the Army base with booby-trapped vehicles and managed to capture armored vehicles, tanks, weapons and munitions. The military reported 55 soldiers were captured while the militant group claimed up to 73 were in fact taken prisoner. The assault started with a diversionary attack on one end of the base, with the main militant force attacking the other end of the compound. Several car bombs were detonated in front of the gates, after which the attackers entered the base, capturing heavy weapons and turning them against the soldiers. Reinforcements from other nearby military bases came too late due to a sandstorm. It was also revealed that previous military claims of taking back the city were untrue, with the militants still controlling most of Zinjibar and a few surrounding towns, namely Jaar where they paraded the captured soldiers. In the days following the attack, the military conducted airstrikes against militant positions around Zinjibar which they claimed killed 42 al-Qaeda fighters.
The Ansar al-Sharia group that took responsibility for the attack was believed to be just a re-branding of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to make it more appealing to the devout rural population. Three days after the attack, the group let a Red Cross team into Jaar to treat 12 wounded soldiers, and demanded a prisoner exchange with the government.
After the beginning of fighting around the city of Lawdar in early April 2011, violence escalated around Zinjibar as well. At least six militants and two Yemeni soldiers were killed in a shootout on 19 April 2012. A major army operation followed in the end of the same month, with hundreds of troops advancing against militant positions in Abyan province. Troops managed to reach the center of Zinjibar after several days of fighting, including an intense six-hour battle towards the end on 25 April 2012. Three militants had been killed on the 23rd, and at least 46 died in the province during the next two days, including 15 near Lowdar. Government casualties were initially not released, while meanwhile leaflets and a video released by Ansar al-Sharia contained threats to kill the 85 captive Yemeni soldiers unless the government withdraws its forces.
Many of the Islamist forces operating in Abyan province refer to themselves as Ansar al-Sharia ("Partisans of Islamic Law").
On 14 January 2012, hundreds of people displaced by months of fighting were allowed to return to their homes in Zinjibar after a temporary deal was reached between insurgent forces and the army units. Locals described "widespread" destruction across the city and several mine fields that the army warned them about. According to reports, the militants held the western part of the city, while the east was controlled by government forces. Thousands of people previously held protests demanding an end to the fighting that has forced them to flee their homes in the south, holding several 50 km (31 mile) marches from the port city of Aden to Zinjibar. Estimates of the number of people displaced from the government operations against the militants had risen to nearly 97,000.
Attacks continued during the next weeks, including a suicide bombing on 13 March 2012 near al-Bayda that killed four soldiers and left four other critically injured. After this attack militants posted a video in which they announced the capture of yet another soldier, bringing the total number of prisoners they hold to 74. They demanded an agreement to free imprisoned insurgents in exchange for the soldiers.
On 31 March 2012, a large group of militants attacked an Army checkpoint in Lahij Governorate during the night, sparking a battle that left 20 soldiers and 4 insurgents dead. The attackers fled with heavy weapons and at least two tanks. Government forces later called in airstrikes that successfully destroyed one of the captured tanks, killing its three occupants.
On 12 December 2013, security officials say more than 40 people have been killed in sectarian clashes between Sunni Islamic militants and northern rebel forces belonging to a branch of Shiites in northern Yemen. The officials say the fighting began when ultraconservative Salafis took over a Hawthi stronghold in a strategic mountainous area near the border with Saudi Arabia. The two sides battled with artillery fire, mortar shells and machine guns in the town of al-Fagga.
Second Battle of LowdarEdit
|Second Battle of Lawdar|
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula |
|Commanders and leaders|
Pres. Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi |
Brig. Gen. Muhammad Nasir Ahmad Ali
Al-Qaeda : 500–600 |
Ansar al-Sharia : unknown
|Casualties and losses|
|33 soldiers and 60 tribal fighters killed, 580 fighters wounded overall||249 killed|
|32 civilians and tribal militia members killed|
On 9 April 2012, a large group of militants attacked an Army base near the city of Lawdar and briefly overran it during a battle where locals had to join the military to help drive them out. There were at least 94 people killed in that initial attack, including six civilians, seventy-four insurgents and fourteen soldiers. This was the third such assault in recent weeks, after two similar attacks in March left at least 130 soldiers dead and more than 70 as prisoners of al-Qaeda affiliated groups.
Government sources raised the casualty figures yet again on 10 April 2012, bringing the total to 124 dead in two days—including 102 militants, 14 soldiers and at least eight civilians. Local tribal sources confirmed the toll, adding that among the dead insurgents there were at least 12 Somalis and a number of Saudis. Reinforcements were being brought into the area as Air Force planes began bombing insurgent positions near Lowdar and on the main road towards Zinjibar.
At least 51 deaths were recorded on 11 April 2012, most of them al-Qaeda-linked fighters. These included 42 militants, six soldiers and three local militia members. The government reportedly sent an elite anti-terrorism squad to help in defeating the militants.
As of 13 April 2012 the battle was still raging around the city with clashes spreading to nearby Mudiyah, the only other town apart from Lowdar that insurgents do not control in the province. Mortar shelling was reported for the second consecutive day by local citizens, with at least 17 civilians injured and the main power station reportedly on fire. After the government sent an additional 200 members of an anti-terrorism unit militants pulled out of the city and back towards the nearby villages of Um Sorra and Wadhia, leaving a few snipers behind. The official death toll on 13 April 2012 stood at 37, including 31 militants, five members of a tribal civilian militia and a child that was shot by an unidentified sniper. Authorities reported the city to be relatively quiet on Saturday, with only sporadic gunfire breaking the silence. On Sunday a suicide bomber killed two tribal militia members at a checkpoint in al-Hodn, just outside Lawdar. Six militants and two locals were killed in other clashes around the town, specifically in an area called al-Minyasa.
After a few quiet days, fighting resumed on 18 April 2012, with militants shelling the city and government forces ordering airstrikes in retaliation. Two children were killed and at least five houses were destroyed during the mortar attacks, while six militants were confirmed dead in the airstrikes. The previous day a suicide car bomber had attacked an army checkpoint on the outskirts of Lowdar, killing five Yemeni soldiers and injuring four more. On 19 April 2012 at least seven militants were killed after clashes with an Army unit based in Lowdar. On 21 April 2012, Yemeni airplanes bombed militant positions in nearby Jebel Yasuf and al-Minyasa, killing at least 13 fighters. On 25 April 2012 at least six militants were killed after their convoy was ambushed by local militia members. Fifteen insurgents were killed two days earlier after a similar incident. Fighting around the city on 30 April 2012 killed 12 militants, a soldier and a tribal militia member.
Meanwhile, insurgents continued their attacks across the country, as an army checkpoint near Aden was assaulted by a group of armed men in pickup trucks. In the ensuing gunbattle at least eight attackers and four Yemeni soldier were killed, while three al-Qaida fighters and one security force member were wounded. Additionally, militants kidnapped a senior intelligence officer and two soldiers in the town of Radda south of the capital Sana'a. The town was briefly lost to the terrorist groups in January, before being taken back by government forces a few weeks later. By 16 May 2012, Yemen troops backed pro-government tribal militias captured the Yasouf mountain, a strategic force above the city, after heavy fighting. After doing so, it was announced that the militants had fled Lawder.
On 21 May 2012, a soldier detonated a suicide bomb in a crowd of military personnel at the beginning of a rehearsal for a Unity Day parade in Sana'a. The bomb killed 96 and wounded more than 200, making it the deadliest attack in Yemen's history. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility and described it as "revenge" for the continued offensive by the Central Security Organization.
In late May 2013, Long War Journal reported that AQAP had been active in Hadramout Governorate over the past several months and that on the 24 May 2013, they took seized control of villages near the Yemeni port city of Mukallah in what an apparent bid to take over swathes of Hadramout Governorate. The Interior Ministry said the seizure was a “terrorist plot to proclaim an Islamic emirate in the Ghayl Bawazir area;” residents of Ghayl Bawazir said that the jihadists had taken advantage of an absence of security forces from the area to deploy in strength and had already distributed leaflets declaring their rule.
The Long War Journal reported that on 6 December 2013, AQAP militants assaulted the Ministry of Defense building in Sana’a in what it claimed was an effort to strike at the US’ drone program 52 people were killed including 7 foreign nationals (2 German and 2 Vietnamese doctors and 1 Indian and 2 Filipino nurses) and 11 AQAP fighters.
In 2014, AQAP claimed responsibility for over 150 attacks in Yemen, using tactics such as IEDs, suicide bombings, and small-arms attacks; targeting both Houthis and Yemeni military and government institutions, including military bases, the Presidential palace in Sana’a, military checkpoints and vehicles, and the police academy in Sana’a, killing over 75 Yemeni government or military personnel.
By early January 2014, AQAP had regrouped in Hadramout Governorate and other provinces after losing control of major cities in Abyan and Shabwa provinces to government forces starting in late spring 2012. Hadramout was the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, and the province has become an AQAP stronghold over the past several years. On 16 January 2014, al-Qaeda militants killed 10 Yemeni soldiers in three simultaneous attacks on army positions in Al Bayda Governorate. Eight extremists were also killed in the assaults, which prompted further clashes with the army. Al-Qaeda assailants carried out simultaneous attacks against three military positions in Rada in Bayda, an extremist stronghold, the official said.
On 24 March 2014, al-Qaeda militants attacked a military checkpoint near Reida in the province of Hadramawt, located 135 km (85 miles) east of the provincial capital Mukalla. Twenty soldiers were killed as a result.
On 29 April 2014, the BBC reported that the Yemeni military, with tribal leaders and locals, had launched an offensive against AQAP militants in Abyan and Shabwa provinces, Saba News Agency described the "extensive." The areas targeted included Abyan's al-Mahfad district and Azzan in Shabwa, security sources told the Associated Press news agency that 8 suspected AQAP militants and three soldiers were killed in the offensive, another report said 15 soldiers were killed in Shabwa province in a suspected ambush by AQAP fighters. Yemeni officials earlier in the month said that as many as 55 militants died in a government air campaign over Shabwa, Abyan and the nearby province of Bayda.
In July 2014, AQAP declared plans to establish an Islamic emirate in Hadramout province ordering men and women to obey its strict interpretation of Islamic law.
On 17 August 2014, six suspected al-Qaeda militants and three Yemeni soldiers died in clashes in the southeastern Hadramawt province, which became scene of many recent attacks on the army. On 31 August 2014, at least 11 Yemeni soldiers have been killed and 17 others injured by suspected al-Qaeda militants in three separate attacks in the southern part of the country.
On the 31 December 2014, a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a cultural center during celebrations of the Prophet Muhammed's birthday, killing 23 people.
On 7 January 2015, a large car bomb detonated outside a Police Academy in Sanaa, Yemen. The attack killed at least 38 and wounded over 90.
In mid-January 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant declared it had established a branch inside Yemen the previous month, and that they were recruiting fighters, bringing them into competition against AQAP.
Al-Qaeda scored a major victory on 2 April 2015, taking advantage of chaos created by a full-scale conflict in southwestern Yemen and foreign airstrikes elsewhere in the country to capture the city of Mukalla from government forces. Al-Qaeda militants freed some 300 inmates from a jail in the city. The New York Times reported: "Al Qaeda’s strongest opponents, the Houthis and Yemen’s American-trained counterterrorism troops, have been busy fending off attacks from the Saudi military."
U.S. and U.K. withdrawalEdit
In April 2016, It was reported that MI6 teams with members of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment seconded to them had been operating in Yemen; training Yemen forces fighting AQAP and identifying targets for drone strikes.
On 6 May 2016, it was reported that a small number of U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Yemen two weeks previously to support Arab forces fighting AQAP in the country. They have been supporting Yemeni and Emirati forces fighting in Mukalla by planning operations and providing other assistance. The U.S. has also staged over 2,000 to 4,500 U.S. Marines of the 13th MEU offshore in a flotilla that includes the USS Boxer, supported by the USS Gravely and the USS Gonzalez.
On 29 January 2017, The New York Times reported that SEALs from SEAL Team Six carried out a surprise dawn attack on an AQAP headquarters in Bayda Province that a senior American official said counterterrorism officials had deemed valuable enough to warrant a ground operation rather than an airstrike. The raid lasted a little less than an hour, one American commando was killed and three others were injured, an estimated 14 Qaeda fighters were killed in the raid, which according to the statement, led to “the capture of information that will likely provide insight into the planning of future terror plots." A senior American official said a MV-22 Osprey that was sent to evacuate the wounded troops in the raid crash-landed nearby, leaving two more service members injured and was unable to fly after the landing therefore it was intentionally destroyed by American airstrikes.
In April 2017, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Qassim Al-Raymi, issued a statement that his terrorist organization will keep fighting the “Houthi Shia” in Yemen. Al-Raymi also said he is ready to make truce with Yemen President Hadi government and to set for negotiations but with conditions. Both al-Qaeda and ISIS are fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
On 6 August 2017, The New York Times reported that, about 2,000 Yemeni troops, supported by dozens of advisers from the United Arab Emirates and a handful of US special forces personnel providing intelligence and planning assistance, launched an offensive against AQAP militants occupying parts of Shabwa Province the preceding week. In addition the US is providing air-to-air refueling and aerial reconnaissance for forces involved in the operation.
On 22 July 2018, a suspected U.S. drone strike kills four alleged al-Qaeda militants in Ma'rib.
In August 2018, Al Jazeera reported that a Saudi Arabian-led coalition "battling Houthi rebels secured secret deals with al-Qaeda in Yemen and recruited hundreds of the group's fighters... an investigation by The Associated Press found the coalition has been paying some al-Qaeda commanders to leave key cities and towns while letting others retreat with weapons, equipment, and wads of looted cash. Key figures in the deal-making said the United States was aware of the arrangements and held off on drone attacks against the armed group, which was created by Osama bin Laden in 1988."
U.S. drone and cruise missile attacksEdit
The U.S. first said it used targeted killing in November 2002, with the cooperation and approval of the government of Yemen. A CIA-controlled high-altitude Predator drone fired a Hellfire missile at an SUV in the Yemeni desert containing Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, a Yemeni suspected senior al-Qaeda lieutenant believed to have been the mastermind behind the October 2000 USS Cole bombing that killed 17 Americans. He was on a list of targets whose capture or death had been called for by President George W. Bush. In addition to al-Harethi, five other occupants of the SUV were killed, all of whom were suspected al-Qaeda members, and one of whom (Kamal Derwish) was an American.
According to The Times, in 2010 the United States, in cooperation with Yemeni officials, launched four cruise missiles at suspected terrorist targets in Yemen. According to the Times, Yemen asked the United States to suspend the strikes after one of the missiles killed a pro-Yemeni tribal leader, Sheikh Jaber al-Shabwani, the deputy governor of Marib province, resulting in his tribe turning against the Yemeni government. The Times also stated that U.S. special forces troops were on the ground in Yemen helping to hunt al-Qaeda operatives.
On 3 June 2011, American manned jets or drones attacked and killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel al-Qaeda operative, as well as several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. Four civilians were also reportedly killed in the strike. The strike was reportedly coordinated by American special forces and CIA operatives based in Sana. According to the Associated Press, in 2011 the U.S. government began building an airbase in the middle east from which the CIA and U.S. military plans to operate drones over Yemen. On 30 September 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki was targeted by a US drone strike which successfully killed him, Samir Khan and a few other militants while they were all in the same car driving to get breakfast.
Suspected U.S. drone strikes killed at least 9 militants on 16 and 18 April 2012, in some of the first such operations in months. The two strikes were in Shabwa and Abyan provinces, which were partially or mostly under the control of the insurgents.
In March 2016, the U.S. military conducted an airstrike using jet fighters and drones in Yemen, killing 70 AQAP members.
Since 23 April 2016, the U.S. carried out a further four airstrikes; killing a further 10 and injuring 1 Al-Qaeda operatives:
- The strike on 23 April 2016 killed two AQAP operatives in central Yemen's Marib governorate.
On 19 May 2016, a U.S. strike killed 4 militants in the Shabwa Governorate area of Yemen.
On 3 June 2016, a CENTCOM spokesman said that the U.S. military has conducted 9 airstrikes against al-Qaida militants in Yemen this year, killing 108 operatives. On 17 June 2016, the Pentagon announced that it had conducted 3 “counter-terror” airstrikes in Yemen between 8 and 12 June 2016.
On 1 July 2016, 2 al-Qaeda operatives and another 2 were killed on 4 July 2016 in Shabwa province by U.S. airstrikes. On 8 July an airstrike killed an AQAP operative in central Yemen, on 16 July airstrike killed 6 more AQAP fighters and on 4 August, a U.S. airstrike killed 3 AQAP operatives in Shabwah Governorate. The BBC reported that between 24 August and 4 September 2016 the U.S. carried out 3 strikes in Shabwah province that killed 13 AQAP militants.
On 23 December 2016, Stars and Stripes reported that 28 AQAP fighters were killed in 9 airstrikes across Yemen:
- 23 September 2016, in Ma'rib Governorate near al-Bayda, four killed.
- 23 September 2016, in Al Bayda Governorate, 2 killed.
- 6 October 2016, in Shabwah Governorate, 2 killed.
- 18 October 2016, in Shabwah, 6 killed.
- 21 October 2016, in Marib Governorate killed Abu Hadi al Bayhani, a senior AQAP leader and 4 others.
- 20 November 2016, in al Baydah, 1 killed.
- 24 November 2016, in al Baydah, 2 killed.
- 30 November 2016, in Hadramawt Governorate, 3 killed.
- 13 December 2016, in Marib, 3 killed.
On 13 January 2017, Abd al-Ghani al-Rasas, a senior al Qaeda leader, was killed in a US airstrike in a remote area of al Bayda Governorate. CENTCOM released a statement saying that on 20 January 2017, a strike killed an AQAP operative in al-Baydah Governorate; on 21 January 2017, another strike killed three AQAP operatives and on 22 January 2017, a strike killed an AQAP operative, also in the al-Baydah Governorate.
On 2 March 2017, various news outlets reported that the US manned and unmanned aircraft conducted over 20 airstrikes, with further airstrikes on 3 March 2017, bringing the total number of airstrikes to over 30. A Pentagon spokesman said the airstrikes were “conducted in partnership with the government of Yemen and were coordinated." CNN reported that the airstrikes took place Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha regions on AQAP militants, equipment, infrastructure, heavy weapons systems and fighting positions; a US defense official told CNN that the strikes had been planned for some time and were not the result of intelligence the US obtained from the January operation.
On 3 April 2017, it was reported that the US conducted around 20 airstrikes against AQAP terrorists in Shabwah governorate in recent days. Bringing the total number of airstrikes against AQAP to more than 70 since 28 February 2017. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters that the strikes targeted the terrorist's equipment, fighting positions and infrastructure. On 24 April 2017, department of defence reported that a strike against 8 AQAP terrorists in Shabwa governorate brought the total number of precision strikes on AQAP targets since 28 February to over 80.
- Plaut, Martin (17 January 2010). "Somalia and Yemen 'swapping militants'". BBC News. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "ISIS gaining ground in Yemen, competing with al Qaeda". CNN. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Gale Cengage Product Failure". Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "Violent Clashes between Al-Maraqeshah and Gunmen of Mobility in Abyan- Yemen Post English Newspaper Online". Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "What Is the UK Doing in Yemen?". Real Clear Defense.
- Kirkpatrick, David D.; Fahim, Kareem (2 April 2015). "Saudi Leaders Have High Hopes for Yemen Airstrikes, but Houthi Attacks Continue". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "North Korea's Balancing Act in the Persian Gulf". HuffPost. 17 August 2015. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
North Korea's military support for Houthi rebels in Yemen is the latest manifestation of its support for anti-American forces.
- "North Korea Likely Supplied Scud Missiles Fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Houthi Rebels - VICE News". vice.com. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Report: North Korea supplying missiles to Yemen rebels". upi.com. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, the Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan (IAA), has executed a number of spectacular attacks against Western interests in recent years. It was responsible for the 1998 kidnapping of sixteen Western tourists in the southern province of Abyan, the USS Cole bombing in 2000, and an assault on the French tanker the Limburg in 2002, among other attacks. Despite these international strikes, the IAA is the classic al-Qaeda affiliate: a local phenomenon that assists the larger jihadi network in its war against the West." "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "The Failure of Counterinsurgency: Why Hearts and Minds Are Seldom Won". 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- Freeman, Colin (12 June 2014). "Al-Qaeda map: Isis, Boko Haram and other affiliates' strongholds across Africa and Asia". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Muaad Al-Maqtari (22 March 2012). "Conflicting reports on Al-Shabab fighters entering Yemen". yementimes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- David Von Drehle (26 February 2015). "What Comes After the War on ISIS". TIME.com. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "U.S. escalates clandestine war in Yemen". LATimes.com. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "The U.S. deploys more troops in Yemen". yemenpost.net. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "AQAP and Suspected AQAP Attacks in Yemen Tracker 2010, 2011, and 2012". Critical Threats. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "US hails Yemen's Qaeda offensive". Agence France Presse. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Topic Galleries". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.[dead link]
- "Bomb kills 3 children in Yemen - defence ministry". Trust.org. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "Yemen air strike kills six militants, government says". Trust.org. 18 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Yemen army kills 13 Islamists in south". Trust.org. 19 April 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Yemen air strikes kill 13 Qaeda-linked militants". Trust.org. 22 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
- "Over 50 al-Qaeda militants killed in two-day clashes". Yemen News Agency (SABA). 25 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Yemen air strikes foil Saudi hostage release: negotiator". Reuters. Associated Press. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "12 militants killed in Yemen battle, official says". Trust.org via AP. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Yemen in war with al Qaeda, urges citizens to help". Reuters AlertNet. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Middle East - Yemeni al-Qaeda suspects 'killed'". Al Jazeera English. 16 January 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Archives | The Star Online". Thestar.com.my. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Hugh MacLeod and Nasser Arrabyee (3 January 2010). "Yemeni air attacks on al-Qaida fighters risk mobilising hostile tribes". The Guardian. London.
- Priest, Dana (27 January 2010). "U.S. military teams, intelligence deeply involved in aiding Yemen on strikes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Images of missile and cluster munitions point to US role in fatal attack in Yemen".
- "Cargo bomb plot: SAS hunting al-Qaeda in Yemen". the telegraph. 2 November 2010.
- "UK and US spend millions to counter Yemeni threat". the independent. 30 October 2010.
- "Britain withdraws special forces from Yemen as civil war rages on". the telgraph. 23 March 2015.
- Raghavan, Sudarsan (18 December 2009). "Yemen asserts 34 rebels killed in raid on Qaeda". The Washington Post. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists". Abcnews.go.com. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- [dead link]
- "Leaked Wikileaks cable". Cablegate.wikileaks.org. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- Healy, Jack; Shane, Scott (24 December 2009). "Yemen Says It Attacked a Meeting of Al Qaeda". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- (in Vietnamese) Yemen bắn hạ hai thành viên al-Qaeda Archived 2 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Yemen 'arrests al-Qaeda suspects' wounded in raid". BBC News. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- Plaut, Martin (17 January 2010). "Somalia and Yemen 'swapping militants'". BBC News. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Yemen 'bombs house of suspected al-Qaeda militant'". BBC News. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Yemen 'stops issuing visas at airports'". BBC News. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- Kasolowsky, Raissa (8 February 2010). "Yemen's al Qaeda calls for jihad in region: report". Reuters. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "AFP: Yemen army 'regains control' of southern town". Google.com. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Up to 15,000 flee offensive in Yemen's Shabwa province". BBC News. 21 September 2010.
- "Le Yémen affirme avoir tué 5 combattants d'Al-Qaïda et arrêté 32 autres lors d'une opération contre le groupe terroriste - china radio international". French.cri.cn. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Thousands flee fighting in Yemen's Shabwa province". BBC News. 20 September 2010.
- "AFP: Top Obama aide in Yemen, discusses Al-Qaeda". Google.com. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "AFP: Qaeda militants 'using human shields in Yemen'". Google.com. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- FACTBOX-Security developments in Yemen Reuters
- "Four Yemeni soldiers killed in southern attack". Reuters. 8 January 2011.
- "Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen kill four in Yemen: official". Alarabiya.net. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- [dead link]
- "Suspected al Qaeda militants seize Yemeni town". France24.com. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Eight dead in south Yemen violence: Security officials". News.egypt.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "AQAP claims responsibility for Yemen attacks". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Huge death toll doubles in Yemen 'slaughter'". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- 185 Yemeni Troops Dead in al-Qaeda Attack Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Heavy Yemeni troop losses reported in raid". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Al-Qaida says it captures 70 Yemeni soldiers in Abyan's battle". News.xinhuanet.com. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Yemen Qaeda-linked group demands prisoner release". Reuters.com. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Yemen army recaptures center of al-Qaida-held city". Associated Press. 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation (14 January 2012). "Thomson Reuters Foundation | News, Information and Connections for Action". Trust.org. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation (13 March 2012). "Suicide bomber kills four Yemeni soldiers". Trust.org. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation (31 March 2012). "Qaeda-linked militants kill at least 20 Yemeni soldiers". Trust.org. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Sectarian clashes kill at least 40 in Yemen". The Daily Star. 12 December 2013.
- Resistance battles al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Yemen[dead link]
- "Bomb kills 3 children in Yemen - defence ministry". Trust.org. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "222 'killed in five days' in Yemen". AFP. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "South Yemen violence kills 2 children, 6 militants". Fox News. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Yemen: 44 killed in clashes with al-Qaeda fighters". USA Today. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "133 killed in Qaeda violence in Yemen". Khaleej Times via AFP. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Toll hits 200 in battle with Qaeda for Yemen town". France24. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Toll hits 200 in battle with Qaeda for Yemen town". CNN. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Toll hits 185 in south Yemen battle with Al Qaeda". The Jordan Times via AFP. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 12 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "5 Yemeni Soldiers Killed in Suicide Car Bombing Attack". Xinhua. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- (in Vietnamese) 25 tay súng al-Qaeda bị giết tại Yemen Archived 2 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "6 Al-Qaida Militants Killed in Ambush in Southern Yemen". Xinhua. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Yemen: 8 militants, 4 troops killed when al-Qaida attacks checkpoint in southern city". Washington Post. 14 April 2012. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- Reuters (16 May 2012). "Yemen army advances on militants, fighting heavy". Trust.org. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Military units advance on militants in Abyan". Yemen Fox. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Al-Qaeda claims deadly Yemen suicide blast". Al Jazeera. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- Jane Ferguson (21 May 2012). "In Yemen, a ruthlessly symbolic attack". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "AQAP takes control of villages in eastern Yemen". Long War Journal. 26 May 2013.
- "AQAP says assault on Yemen's Defense Ministry targeted US drone operations". Long War Journal. 6 December 2013.
- "AQAP 2014".
- "US drones kill 2 AQAP fighters in eastern Yemen". Long War Journal. 8 January 2014.
- "Militants kill 10 soldiers in central Yemen". The Arab American News. 17 January 2014.
- "Yemen attack on military checkpoint kills 20 soldiers". BBC News. 24 March 2014.
- "Yemen army launches major al-Qaeda offensive in south". BBC. 29 April 2017.
- "AQAP 2014".
- "Six 'Qaida', Three Yemen Troops Killed in Clashes". Naharnet. 17 August 2014.
- "Suspected al-Qaeda militants kill 11 Yemeni soldiers". Press TV. 31 August 2014. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014.
- "Yemen troops free al-Qaeda hostages". Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "US Commandos Take Part in Yemen Rescue Mission". Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Almosawa, Shuaib (31 December 2014). "Bomber in Yemen Kills at Least 23 at a Ceremony". The New York Times.
- Almosawa, Shuaib; Fahim, Kareem (7 January 2015). "Car Bombing Kills Dozens at Yemeni Police Academy". The New York Times.
- "Al Qaeda frees 300 inmates from Yemeni jail". New York Post. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "U.S. forces now on the ground supporting combat operations in Yemen, Pentagon says". the Washington post. 6 May 2016.
- "British Special Forces Pull Out Of Yemen". Sky News. 23 March 2015.
- "U.S. reveals troops on the ground in Yemen". Military times. 6 May 2016.
- "Yemen conflict: Al-Qaeda joins coalition battle for Taiz". BBC. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- "UK special forces and MI6 involved in Yemen bombing, report reveals". the guardian. 11 April 2016.
- "Pentagon: US forces in Yemen to aid fight against Al Qaeda affiliate". Fox News. 6 May 2016.
- "U.S. Commando Killed in Yemen in Trump's First Counterterror Operation". The New York Times. 29 January 2017.
- "Thousands of Yemeni Forces Target Qaeda Stronghold". The New York Times. 6 August 2017.
- "Suspected US airstrike kills 4 al-Qaida operatives in Yemen". AP News. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Report: Saudi-UAE coalition 'cut deals' with al-Qaeda in Yemen". Al-Jazeera. 6 August 2018.
- "US allies, Al Qaeda battle rebels in Yemen". Fox News. 7 August 2018.
- "Allies cut deals with al Qaeda in Yemen to serve larger fight with Iran". San Francisco Chronicle. 6 August 2018.
- Gary D. Solis (2010). The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 538–47. ISBN 0-521-87088-7. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Walter Pincus (26 November 2002). "U.S. Says Yemen Aided Missile Strike". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Nyier Abdou (20 November 2002). "Death by Predator". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- "Q&A: Targeted Killings", Eben Kaplan, The New York Times, 25 January 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- "Drones spur Yemenis' distrust of government and U.S." Reuters. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
- Tomlinson, Hugh, Michael Evans, and Iona Craig, "US Attacks Al-Qaeda In Yemen", The Times, 9 December 2010.
- Mazzetti, Mark, "U.S. Is Intensifying A Secret Campaign Of Yemen Airstrikes", The New York Times, 9 June 2011.
- Associated Press, "Secret CIA drone base being built to target Yemen militants", Japan Times, 16 June 2011, p. 1.
- "'US drone strike' kills 5 Qaeda militants in Yemen". Hindustan Times. 17 April 2012. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "U.S. Central Command Announces Yemen Counterterrorism Strikes". U.S. department of defence. 9 May 2016.
- "9 US airstrikes in Yemen killed more than 100 al-Qaida fighters in 2016". stars and stripes. 3 June 2016.
- "9 US airstrikes in Yemen killed more than 100 al-Qaida fighters in 2016". stars and stripes. 3 June 2016.
- "U.S. Special Operations force extends Yemen mission against al-Qaeda". the Washington post. 17 June 2016.
- "U.S. Central Command: 2 Yemen strikes kill 4 al-Qaida members". military times. 8 July 2016.
- "U.S. Airstrike in Yemen Kills Al Qaeda Operatives, Military Says". nbc news. 5 August 2016.
- "Yemen strikes kill al-Qaeda fighters, says US". BBC. 7 September 2016.
- "CENTCOM: US airstrikes in Yemen have killed 28 al-Qaida fighters since September". Stars and Stripes. 22 December 2016.
- "Pentagon: U.S. Airstrike Kills Al Qaeda Senior Leader in Yemen".
- "U.S. Central Command announces 3 recent strikes in Yemen". CENTCOM. 25 January 2016.
- "US launches second round of airstrikes in Yemen". CNN. 3 March 2017.
- "Trump May Give the Pentagon More Authority to Conduct Raids". The New York Times. 2 March 2017.
- "United States Ramps Up Airstrikes Against Al Qaeda in Yemen". The New York Times. 3 March 2017.
- "US launches more airstrikes targeting al-Qaida in Yemen". Stars and Stripes. 3 April 2017.
- "U.S. Airstrikes Hit Terrorists in Yemen". Department of Defence. 3 April 2017.
- "Pentagon Spokesman Updates Iraq, Syria, Yemen Operations". Department of Defence. 24 April 2017.
- Demystifying Yemen's Conflict (Midwest Diplomacy)
- Yemen: A Fragile Unity
- Al-Qaeda in Yemen: Renaissance of Terror
- After Thwarted Bomb Plot, US Military Operations in Yemen Could Intensify - video report by Democracy Now!
- Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (29 May 2012). "Al Qaeda In Yemen". Frontline. WGBH Educational Foundation.