The photographs enabled the positive identification of damaged missile parts, which was found to be from the BGM-109D Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile

On Dec. 17, 2009, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) launched a cruise missile attack on the Yemeni village of al-Majalah killing 41 civilians, including 14 women and 21 children.

The United States and the Yemeni government initially denied U.S involvement in the strikes. The Yemeni government then claimed responsibility for the strikes, saying it had targeted an al-Qaeda training camp.

Jeremy Scahill exposed the incident in his book “Dirty Wars” saying:

“The Yemeni government claimed responsibility for the strikes, and we know from the Wikileaks cables that were released that General David Petraeus essentially conspired with senior Yemeni officials including the former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to cover up the US role in what would become a rapidly expanding bombing campaign inside of Yemen”

Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a Yemeni Writer and Journalist, who had taken photographs of the American missile parts, was the first to expose the missile strike. He was detained for the same reason. Abdullah commented on his arrest saying:

“The decision to arrest me was made on December 27, 2009, the day I exposed those who covered up the murder of women and children in Abyan, the day I exposed those who guided cruise missiles to Bedouin camps”