Fury and anger have erupted in the Middle East as Qassim al-Rimi, a senior leader of the terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is been reported to have been killed by a US drone strike ordered by Donald Trump.
Supporters of al-Rimi were heard to scream”now hell is let loose” when they approached the scene of the carnage.
Donald Trump retweeted several reports terrorist Qassim al-Rimi was killed when a strike destroyed a building housing militants on January 25. The White House has refused to confirm whether the president’s tweets were confirmation of the death.
Yemeni tribal leaders have said the strike killed a senior leader of the terror group when it hit a hideout in the Wadi Ubaidah area in the eastern province of Marib. The area is known as a stronghold for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
They said at least three explosions hit the area, and the building was set ablaze. It was not immediately clear how many militants were in the building at the time or their identities but the figure is thought to be high.
Tribal leaders said a handful of al Qaida militants arrived on the scene just after the strike and cordoned off the area.
On Saturday, Trump retweeted several articles from his Florida resort which seemed to offer confirmation al-Rimi, one of AQAP’s founders and its current chief, was killed.
Qassem al-Rimi was made leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2015 following the death of the terror cell’s number two Nasir al-Wuhayshi.
Al-Rimi succeeded Nasser al-Wahishi, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, as the top leader of AQAP.
Among Trump’s retweets was a thread by Rita Katz, director of the Site Intelligence Group which tracks messaging by militant groups.
Ms Katz tweeted on Thursday: “If true, and it seems to be, the death of al-Rimi would mark a major blow to AlQaeda on the whole. Al-Rimi was a candidate for succeeding AQ leader Zawahiri.”
AQAP has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch and has attempted to carry out attacks on the US mainland.