It has been a year since a US Predator drone strike killed an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen’s southern province of Saada.
The killing has raised questions about whether the drone strikes, which have killed hundreds of people in the region, are legally justified.
The strike has also raised concerns about the US government’s reliance on drones in the war against al-Qaida.
The Yemeni government has said it has no evidence the strikes were carried out by the US, although the US military has repeatedly confirmed the strikes in the last year have killed dozens of people.
In December, the US confirmed that it had carried out a drone strike against an al Qaeda leader in southern Yemen, but did not confirm the identity of the target.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon confirmed that an attack by a US Reaper drone killed al-Shabab, an Islamist militant group that operates in the Saada province.
“We do not know what the target was,” US Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters.
Saada province is a stronghold for the al- Qaeda-linked group, which has taken advantage of the chaos to establish a presence in the area.
As many as 1,500 people have been killed in the strike, according to the Yemeni health ministry.
Warren added that US drone strikes in Yemen have killed at least 565 people.
“We don’t have any evidence that the drone strike that killed the al Shabab leader was a legitimate target,” he said.
A drone strike on a militant leader in the country’s southern Hodeida province killed dozens in March, the first in the year.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to impose new sanctions against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for its role in the Yemen war.
The group has continued to claim responsibility for attacks on US and allied troops in the nation.
Last month, al Qaeda’s chief in Yemen, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a warning to his followers to avoid attacks against US forces in the kingdom.