Saudi-born Abu Hajar al-Makki and three other AQAP militants were among six jihadists who were killed when a drone blew up their vehicle in the Wadi Obeida district of Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa, tribal sources said.
A long-running US drone war against AQAP has intensified since President Donald Trump took office, in particular, US forces have carried out more than 120 air strikes against jihadists in Yemen this year. According to the US officials, the strikes have killed a number of senior AQAP figures in recent months, for instance, Mujahid al-Adani, who was killed on November 20.
Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict since 2015, with the government of President Hadi fighting against the Houthi rebels, backed by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis in Yemen at Hadi's request. The Sunni extremist group has thrived in the chaos of nearly three years of civil war between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels, who control the capital.