Yemenis have launched a campaign on Twitter to express their condemnation of the United States’ drone war in Yemen. They are tweeting under the hashtag #NoDrones, and have asked non-Yemenis to speak out and join them in their campaign.
Mai Saleh in Yemen tweeted:
@A4Mai: Take a moment and shout with us: No to the jungle law, No to the extrajudicial killings, No to the killing of innocent civilians #NoDrones
Talal, a British-Yemeni activist in London, urged:
@25FebFreedom: #US killing innocent civilians in #Yemen in the name of “war on terror ” #StopDrones #NoDrones for God sake in #Yemen
The campaign started on May 13, the same day that President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, met with Yemen's president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and a day after a stepped-up campaign of American airstrikes reportedly killed 11 militants.
British journalist Tom Finn, who is based in Yemen, tweeted:
@tomfinn2: Yemenis launch a #NoDrones campaign on twitter as US counterterrorism czar John Brennan arrives in Sana'a… #Yemen
Mai Saleh addressed some tweets to Brennan:
@A4Mai: Urgent message to the visiting Mr. #Brennan: Take your hands off #Yemen & take your drones off our skies for good. Yemeni Citizen #NoDrones
@A4Mai: Dear Mr. Brennan, Your policy has proved a failure in #Pakistan, why try it in #Yemen? It is obviously doomed to fail, sincerely #NoDrones
Yemenis condemn terrorism, and they believe the use of US drones only fuels it, as blogger Atiaf Alwazir pointed out:
@WomanfromYemen:B/c I'm against #terrorism & #extremism, i'm also against #drones. It's counter-productive & fuels more extremism. #NoDrones #yemen #US
@womanfromYemen: We are saying #NoDrones, b/c we don't want militants in #Yemen. Drones do not eradicate militants they intensify their presence.
French journalist Benjamin Wiacek, who is based in Yemen, tweeted
@Nefermaat: #US drones and air strikes create more extremism and resentment than improving the situation: SAY NO to DRONES !! #NoDrones
He also tweeted a link about drone strikes and the civilan casualties in Yemen which are seldom reported.
Atiaf Alwazir added:
@WomanfromYemen: For every headline you read regarding “militants” killed by drones in #Yemen, think of the civilians killed that are not reported. #NoDrones
A Yemeni journalist and poet who goes by the name Sana2 Al-Yemen tweeted her contempt:
@Sanasiino: It is a disgusting thought to know US officials across the globe are playing a video game with our people in #Yemen. #NoDrones
@Sanasiino: Decreasing #AQAP support and power would need to start with a #NoDrones policy in #Yemen
And finally, Shams in Yemen tweeted a hope many Yemenis share, that the new governemnt will put an end to US drone attacks:
@shamsalshomos: I hope #Hadi does what #Saleh never did speak and act on behalf of the welfare of his people #NoDrones in #yemen
To learn more about the campaign follow the hashtag #NoDrones and read this Storify.