A suspected U.S. drone strike killed an alleged local leader of Al Qaida and five of his aides in southern Yemen Tuesday, residents said, as Yemeni and Emirati troops pressed their offensive against the militant group.
Abu Sameh al-Zinjibari among others are reported to have died when a missile struck their moving car in Amoudiya, a village near the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.
Government and Emirati forces based in the port city of Aden, about 25 miles away, have been mounting a ground push against towns held by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) along a vast stretch of Yemen's coast.
It is unclear whether the ground fighting is being coordinated with the United States, which has for years launched drone strikes against Al Qaida throughout the country.
U.S. officials said earlier this month they were considering a request from the United Arab Emirates for air power, intelligence and logistical support.
The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in a civil war in Yemen in March 2015 to back Yemen's government against the Iran-allied Houthi group.