Yemen: Anger as 13 Civilians Killed by US Drone Strike

Another US drone attack struck Yemen on Sunday in Al-Baydha, targeting the usual “suspected” militants. In what has now become a recurring theme, the target missed and according to local reports 13 civilians, including three women, were killed.

Josh Begly, who developed an application that tracks US drones which Apple had rejected, tweets:

@joshbegley: In the 6 days since Apple rejected my Drones+ app, there have been 5 days of drone strikes in Yemen & Pakistan.

Journalist Iona Craig, who works in Yemen, notes:

@ionacraig: What this should say: ‘US drone strike misses target, kills three women': #Yemen

She tweets a Yemeni official's reaction:

‏@ionacraig: US signature strikes in #Yemen:”We're still investigating who these men are & in what way they were linked to al Qaeda”

Netizens were baffled by the conflicting reports, which initially stated that the attack was by a US drone then somehow the story changed to a Yemeni war plane instead.
Glen Greenwald, a columnist for the Guardian, asks:

@ggreenwald: Was the civilian-killing attack in Yemen on Sunday from a US drone ( ) or a Yemeni war plane ( )?

He later clarifies:

‏@ggreenwald: @ionacraig Reuters is now also claiming it's a Yemeni plane, citing officials and “residents”

Iona Craig replies:

@ionacraig: @ggreenwald Unsurprising Reuters call it US drone when saying militants killed: switch to Yemeni when civilians dead.

However, Micah Zenko points:

@MicahZenko: It was a US drone strike that killed 13 civilians in #Yemen, 3 Yemeni officials tell @HakimAlmasmari

Yet, Yemeni Twitter users are all too familiar with this kind of stories. Ibrahim Mothana tweeted an article about a Wikileaks cable which exposed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's secret deal to let US launch missile attacks on Al Qaeda, but claim that they were Yemeni attacks.


Wondering how a US drones turns into Yemeni warplanes?! … #Yemen

A Yemeni investigative journalist, Abdul Ilah Shayi, was jailed after claiming US involvement in a missile attack in Al-Ma'jala which killed 55 people. He was due to be released under a presidential decree on February 1, 2011, but was kept in detention as a result of direct pressure from the White House after president Obama's phone call to Saleh.

Yemenis have expressed their anger and objection towards US drone strikes in Yemen.

@aliaeshaq: 11 civilians killed in the latest drone strike in Baida, #Yemen. Say NO to drones! The world has to know these are human beings! #NoDrones

@al3ini: No #drones … They kill Yemenis without legal justification #Yemen

@Ulfatak: I'm a civilian. You're a civilian. 1 civilian death is 1 too many. #US #Drones #Yemen

@imothanaYemen: Brennan's “legal, ethical, and wise” drone strikes in Yemen just killed 13 civilians, including 3 women & 3 kids #US

@Sarah_Sanaa: Dear #Americans do u know how #Obama is protecting u? By killing more #Yemen -is do u think their kids will grow 2 want peace? #Drones #US

A #NoDrones campaign was launched in May and Yemeni Twitter users are once again using the hashtag #Nodrones to express their anger and demand an end to US strikes in Yemen.


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