Yemen Parliament Demands an End to U.S. Drone Strikes

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Children in Yemen looking for drones (photo: Reuters)

Lawmakers in Yemen have called for an end to U.S. drone strikes within their country.

 

The proclamation came after another errant drone attack in which an American missile struck a wedding convoy, killing more than a dozen people, most of them civilians.

 

Described as a “strong warning” to the Obama administration and the government of Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the motion is non-binding and could be struck down by Hadi.

 

A Yemeni political official privately told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the vote represented a “challenge” to Hadi, who is the interim leader following the departure of dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh last year.

 

“This vote appears to be an attempt by the followers of the former president to put pressure on Hadi, more than it is a real legislative action,” the official said.

 

Another official who spoke on condition of anonymity told CNN: “The Yemeni public is angered by the drone strikes. The people’s representatives reflected on the tone of the streets.”

 

The U.S. attack last week in southwestern Yemen was prompted by intelligence reports indicating the convoy was carrying al-Qaeda militants.

 

In reality, most of the 36 casualties were members of a wedding party. It has variously been reported that between 14 and 17 of them died, while the rest were wounded, many critically. Only two of the dead—Saleh al-Tays and Abdullah al-Tays—had at one time been identified as al-Qaeda suspects by the Yemeni government, according to AFP.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Drone Strikes Must End, Yemen's Parliament Says (by Hakim Almasmari, CNN)

Yemeni Parliament in Non-Binding Vote Against Drone Attacks (by Mohammed Ghobari and Maha El Dahan, Reuters)

U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen Likely to Continue Despite Parliamentary Ban (Agence France-Presse)

Former U.S. Official Says Every Drone Attack in Yemen Creates 40 to 60 New Enemies (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)          

In Spite of Obama Transparency Pledge, U.S. Silent on Yemen Drone Strike that Killed Child (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)        

Drone Killing of Civilians Sparks Outrage in Yemen…Apathy in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

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