The Obama Administration has ordered a dramatic increase in the number of drone strikes against targets within southern Yemen, with several launched per week.
Unlike the CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, the attacks in Yemen are being carried out by JSOC, and each requires explicit approval from President Obama himself. The attacks have centered around Abyan Province, which the Saleh regime has “mostly” reconquered from the Ansar al-Sharia group.
Of course the CIA is also keen to start launching a massive number of drone strikes of their own in Yemen, with the organization working hard to expand secret airfields in the region from which to launch the strikes.
In comments at Harvard Law School, Obama aide John Brennan defended the legality of the strikes, insisting that attacks were never going to be restricted to “hot battlefields like Afghanistan” and adding “we reserve the right to take unilateral action if or when other governments are unwilling or unable.”