Just a few days after a senior US counter-terrorism expert warned that US drone strikes were turning Yemen into the “Arabian equivalent of Waziristan”, US drone strikes yesterday aped the tactic of ‘follow up’ strikes used by the US in Pakistan.
According to CNN, a strike in which seven suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed was followed by a strike on local residents rushing to the scene to help the injured. Local sources said that between eight and twelve civilians were killed in the second, follow-up strike. A Yemeni security officials expressed regret for the civilian casualties and injuries. “The targets of the raids were not the civilians, and we give our condolences to the families of those who lost a loved one.”
Over the past few weeks US drone strikes and other military activity has been ratcheted up in Yemen as the White House has given ‘greater leeway’ to the CIA and JSOC to launch attacks. Micah Zenko at the US Council on Foreign Relations estimates there will be more US strikes this month in Yemen than there has ever been in a single month in Pakistan. For details see the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s excellent database of US covert activity in Yemen. Read the rest of this entry »