The strike took place in the district of Rada'a and killed the local al Qaeda leader there and three others. Tribal sources put the death toll at five.
"The drone targeted a place where they were meeting," a local source said.
Yemen is the main stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the militant group's most aggressive wings.
It is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment publicly on the practice.
Restoring stability to Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries, which lies next door to the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, is an international concern.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has angered many of his countrymen by giving unequivocal support for Washington's controversial drone strikes, which have increased under President Barack Obama. He has also asked the US to supply drones to the Yemeni army. Drone attacks have killed at least 40 people in Yemen since late July.
The Yemeni army, with US backing, last year drove al Qaeda militants and their allies from some of their strongholds, but the militants have since regrouped.