Yemen officials against US drone attacks

Political officials in Yemen have expressed discontent with the increasing number of attacks by the US assassination drones in their country.

According to a report by the United Arab Emirates daily Al Khaleej, Yemeni officials have expressed their disapproval of the US assassination drone attacks around Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a and other cities including Hazar al-Mot, Marib, al-Bayda and Sa’dah.

The report said that Yemeni officials have demanded that the US drone attacks be confined to sparse, uninhabited and border areas.

The officials have also noted that the ground operations against al-Qaeda in border areas such as al-Bayda and Sa’dah are being carried out only by Yemeni forces.

The report further added that Yemen’s President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has rejected a request by the United States to deploy more troops to the Arab state, saying based on agreements between the two sides all the troops should withdraw from Yemen before the beginning of the second half of 2013.

The US has increased the number of drone strikes dramatically, with 53 taking place in 2012. This figure is three times higher than the figure for a year before.

The US regularly carries out assassination drone attacks in Yemen, which is located on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula and among the poorest in the region.

Washington uses its assassination drones in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia, claiming that they target the terrorists. The attacks, however, have mostly led to massive civilian casualties.

The United Nations has censured the US drone attacks as targeted killings, stressing that the raids flout international law. Reports, however, say that the CIA is seeking to expand its covert drone attacks in Yemen.

Yemenis have held several anti-US rallies across the country over the past months and have called on their government to cut all ties with Washington over the deadly airstrikes.

TNP/JR