US drone strikes exacerbate extremism


The US assassination drone strikes across the Middle East and Africa have led to a rapid growth in the number of extremist militants in regional countries, a political analyst tells Press TV.

In a Wednesday interview, Paul Wolf pointed to the years-long US assassination drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia against purported militant groups in those countries, saying, Å“I do think that over time we have seen a number of the so-called Islamic extremists multiplying rapidly.”

Wolf pointed to the killing of thousands of civilians in the course of drone operations, adding, Å“If you have a person who has been killed in your family and you feel that you have not got justice, then you join one of these groups and you fight even if you know that you are going to die.”

Å“What drives these people to these extremes is believing that they have to do that to defend themselves,” the analyst pointed out, adding, Å“We see this spreading all across the world, all across Africa, even in Mali, as the most recent one, and I do not really believe that this is a kind of a theological spread of a militant type of Islam; it is that more and more people believe that they are being targeted and they have to defend themselves,” Wolf said.

Over the past year, US drone strikes have escalated significantly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, fueling public anti-American sentiment in those countries.

Washington claims that the airstrikes target militants, but reports on the ground show that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.

US President Barack Obama recently defended the use of the controversial drones as Å“self-defense.” The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under Obamaâ„¢s administration.

The United Nations and several human rights organizations have already identified the US as the world’s number one user of “targeted killings” largely due to its drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to the Washington-based think tank, the New America Foundation, US killer drone attacks in Yemen almost tripled in 2012.


Republished from: Press TV