Yemen: Reported US covert actions 2019

The timeline below contains information on all US drone and air strikes and other covert actions in Yemen recorded by the Bureau in 2019. Many of the strikes listed below have been confirmed by senior US or Yemeni officials. However some events are only speculatively attributed to the US, or are indicative of US involvement. We therefore class all strikes in Yemen as either “confirmed” or “possible”. The US has also launched strikes with other weapons systems, including conventional jet aircraft and cruise missiles. The Bureau records these operations as “additional US attacks”.

Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. The information below represents our present best estimate.

The US conducted its first known drone strike outside of Afghanistan in Yemen in 2002. The second attack in the country did not take place for another seven years. Both the Pentagon and CIA have carried out strikes in Yemen from bases in Djibouti and Saudi Arabia. The military strikes are carried out under the command of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command.

The strikes have targeted al Qaeda fighters. The first strike, in 2002, targeted Abu Ali al Harithi - a member of al Qaeda since the 1990s and the leader of the group's presence in Yemen. In 2007 al Qaeda in Yemen and al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia united to form al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This has been the focus of US operations in Yemen since. The strikes have also killed scores of civilians.

Full data

The Bureau publishes a narrative timeline of US strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen each year. The 2018 timeline for Yemen can be found here. Links for all other timelines can be found here.

We also publish spreadsheets detailing casualty numbers in each country. You can download the entire Yemen sheet here.

US operations, Yemen 2019
Confirmed US air and drone strikes Possible US air and drone strikes Additional US attacks
Total reported strikes 1
Total reported killed 1
Children reported killed 0
Total reported injured 0

Strikes

YEM319 link

1 January 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US has confirmed the death of al Qaeda operative Jamal al Badawi in a strike carried out in Yemen's Marib province.

A US grand jury indicted Badawi in 2003 for his role in the USS Cole bombing in which seventeen US soldiers were killed. In October 2000, two suicide bombers rammed the shop in a boat packed with explosives as it refuelled in the port of Aden.

A press release from Central Command stated:

Jamal al-Badawi was a legacy al Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing. US forces confirmed the results of the strike following a deliberate assessment process.
Jamal al-Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of U.S. military personnel; was wanted by the US for his role in the Oct. 12, 2000 terrorist attack against USS Cole; and was also charged with attempting with co-conspirators to attack a US Navy vessel in January 2000.

There was no information on whether any other people were killed in the strike.

"Our great military has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack," President Trump commented in a tweet.

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  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Marib province
  • References: Central Command press release via email, BBC