Yemen Drone Strike Kills Four Alleged Al Qaeda Militants

Melissa Stusinski

A pair of drone strikes in Yemen killed four suspected al Qaeda militants in Marib province. The strike was allegedly carried out by the United States, though the nation has had no comment on the situation yet.

The drone strike comes as the US maintained a high security alert in the country and urged all Americans to leave Yemen immediately. All non-essential members from the country's embassy were evacuated.

Security officials stated that none of the four killed on Tuesday were on the country's most-wanted list, reports CNN. Four drone strikes have taken place in Yemen in the past 10 days.

It is not clear if the two events are linked, but US officials are taking all precautions. The security alert was issued when US officials intercepted a message from Ayman al-Zawahiri, an al Qaeda leader. The message apparently called on operatives in Yemen to "do something."

The message was sent to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi. It is believed that al-Wuhayshi is the organization's No. 2 leader.

While it did not comment on the drone strikes, Yemen's government announced it is "deeply disappointed in the U.S. decision to evacuate embassy staff." The Los Angeles Times notes that the government added, "It plays into the hands of Al Qaeda, and it's going to hurt our economy."

Along with Yemen, the Obama administration temporarily closed more than 24 embassies and other diplomatic facilities, most in the Arab world. A worldwide travel alert was also issued to Americans. About 19 of those diplomatic posts remain closed, likely though the end of the week.

While none of the alleged militants killed in Tuesday's drone strikes were on the most-wanted list, one of them was an al Qaeda operative confirmed by the Yemeni authorities. Two of the dead were named by an Al Jazeera tribal source as Saleh al-Tays al-Waeli and Saleh Ali Guti.

Yemen drone strikes have killed 17 people since July 28.

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