As the U.S. continues to bombard Yemen with drones this weekend, one Yemeni activist says that for ordinary people of Yemen, there is very little difference between what al-Qaeda and the U.S. are doing to the country.
On Saturday, the U.S. unleashed its ninth drone strike in two weeks on the poverty- and water crisis-stricken country, striking a car traveling through Lahj province and killing at least two people described by corporate media reports as militants or suspected militants.
Whether or not the charred remains of those killed were actually Al-Qaeda militants is unknown, and the U.S., while acknowledging the use of drones on Yemen, “does not publicly comment on the practice.”
One Yemeni tweets that at least two civilians, including one child, have been killed in this recent drone blitz, with possibly three other civilians among the dead.
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In an op-ed titled “Who Are US Drones Killing in Yemen — and Why?,” Daphne Eviatar of Human Rights First writes that
McClatchy reported on Friday on how the drone surge “has ignited widespread outrage in the country”:
Further, U.S. actions to wipe out “terrorists” are counter-productive. Yemeni youth activist and writer Farea al-Muslimi writes that “in its recent actions, the US has become al-Qa’ida’s public relations officer.”
In an op-ed in the Independent on Sunday, al-Muslimi continues:
Al-Muslimi brought his powerful voice to a Senate Judiciary committee hearing on drones in April, when he described the terror and anger they have brought Yemenis.
In his testimony, he said that “the drone strikes are the face of America to many Yemenis.”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that as many as 52 civilians have been killed by confirmed drone strikes in Yemen from 2002 through July 2013.
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