Yemen: US Drone Strikes to Continue

Insists 9/11 Obligates Yemen to Allow 'Friendly Aircraft'

by Jason Ditz, January 08, 2013

Yemeni National Security Chief Ali Hassan Ahmadi has announced that the Hadi government intends to continue to allow US drone strikes nationwide going forward, insisting that the alliance Yemen joined after 9/11 obligates them to permit “friendly aircraft” to operate in their nation.

US drone strikes jumped more than three-fold in 2012, and officials continue to point to the further escalation of those attacks, despite growing public anger at the civilian death toll and fear of a backlash.

Major Gen. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was installed as ruler in the US-backed single-candidate elections, has repeatedly endorsed the drone strike policy, and so long as the strikes are confined to tribal areas not friendly to his regime in the first place that is unlikely to change.

Indeed, despite no evidence that pounding Yemen with missiles is accomplishing anything, the US seems to have no shortage of regimes in the region looking to join in, with not only Hadi endorsing the attacks, but Saudi Arabia as well. The Saudis are even said to be contributing aircraft, a key in keeping specific responsibility for any given attack nebulous.

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