US Drone Strikes Kill Five in Southern Yemen

Slain Were 'Suspected al-Qaeda-Linked Insurgents,' Yemen Insists

by Jason Ditz, December 24, 2012

A pair of US drone strikes hit targets in southern Yemen today, according to local officials, killing at least five unidentified people, all of whom were labeled “suspected al-Qaeda-linked insurgents.”

The strikes were the first confirmed drone strikes in Yemen in over a month, an unusually long delay as the US had been firing strikes virtually daily during the summer, backing the Yemeni military’s offensives.

Drone strikes have been hugely unpopular around the world, but US-backed Yemeni ruler Major General Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has openly praised the strikes as vital to his military strategy in the south.

US air strikes have killed a number of civilians over the course of the year, despite official Yemeni statements initially claiming everyone was a suspect, and the deaths have fueled anger and promises of revenge attacks against the US.

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