The US killed two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in a drone airstrike in central Yemen yesterday as fighting for control of major towns and cities in the south heats up.
The unmanned Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers struck a convoy in the central province of Baydah yesterday afternoon, killing a Yemeni and a Somali fighter, according to AFP. The identities of those killed have not been disclosed, and AQAP has not released a statement confirming or denying the deaths.
Somali fighters from Shabaab are reported to have entered Yemen to support al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its political front, Ansar al Sharia, as AQAP attempts to consolidate control in the south and fight the military. On April 11, Yemeni officials claimed that Somalis, Saudis, and Pakistanis were among those killed during fighting in Lawdar in Abyan province. And on April 21, the military claimed that 10 Saudi and three Somali fighterswere killed while fighting in Abyan.
Baydah province is known to have an AQAP presence. The terror group seized control of Rada’a in Baydah in January but later withdrew after negotiating a peace agreement with the local government.