Three low-flying helicopters crossed Houthi-controlled territory before dropping the flyers over the Yakla area of Al-Baydha governorate, locals said
Helicopters drop leaflets on AQAP stronghold offering millions in cash for information on top leaders
Low-flying helicopters dropped flyers in the Yakla area of Al-Baydha governorate on Thursday, asking locals to report leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in exchange for financial rewards, local residents told Almasdar Online.
The leaflets included the names and photographs of AQAP leaders including emir Khaled Batarfi, Sa'ad Bin Atef Al-Awlaki and Ammar Al-San’ani. A reward of up to $6 million would be given for information about the leaders, the flyers said, urging locals to send tips to phone numbers with Iraqi, Fillipino and Malaysian country codes.
The leaflets featured slogans like “Get rid of Al-Qaeda chaos, secure your future. Provide information,” ''Don't allow Al-Qaeda to endanger your brothers. Protect yourself, your family and your tribe,” and “Al-Qaeda can't protect its leaders, how can they protect you?” The latter flyer pictured former AQAP emir Qassem Al-Raimi, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January.
Eyewitnesses told Almasdar Online that three low-flying helicopters, which they believed to be American, came from government-controlled areas before crossing Houthi-controlled Sharya, Radman and Al-Sawadiya districts in Al-Baydha on the way to Yakla.
Yakla is one of AQAP’s most important strongholds. The presence of senior leaders there has made the area a magnet of U.S. airstrikes. In January 2017, US commandos carried out a raid that killed AQAP senior leader Abdulrauf Al-Dhabab as well as a number of civilians including nine children.