Drone kills four people in Yemen, suspected al Qaeda links

Four people suspected of being linked to al Qaeda killed in drone strikes in Yemen

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses troops as he stands in front of a drone at an air base Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

Four people, suspected to be affiliated with al Qaeda, were killed in drone strikes in a car in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa on Friday, locals said.

The drone strike had burst the car into flames and plumes of black smoke were billowing above the main road, they said.

Reuters cited locals as saying al Qaeda brochures were scattered over the ground by the road.

During the nine months of civil war and military intervention, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Arabs and the United States have kept up drone strikes against militant groups in Yemen.

Daily air strikes are trying to rout the Iran-backed Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Houthis, a clan from northern Yemen, seized the capital of Sanaa last year and forced Hadi out, pushing him to flee south to Aden, a strategic port and shipping hub.

In the chaos around the Houthi takeover, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of the global terrorist organisation, has expanded its foothold in the country.

Saudi Arabia sees the Houthis as a proxy for Iran, its main regional adversary.

AQAP, viewed as a dangerous arm of al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the Jan. 25 attack in Paris on the controversial French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

AQAP has suffered setbacks in recent months, losing its leader and several senior leaders in drone strikes.

TRTWorld, Reuters