Yet another US drone strike hit Yemen today, this time in the northern al-Jawf Province dominated by Shi’ite tribesmen affiliated with the Houthi secessionist movement. The strike killed five people, termed “al-Qaeda suspects.”
It was the fourth drone strike against Yemen in as many days, with an attack targeting near the capital city on Monday, and a pair of weekend strikes hitting the area around Ma’arib City in the Ma’arib Province.
Strikes against Yemen escalated dramatically in 2012, and the large number of strikes so far in January suggest this will continue to be a growing target for US drones going forward. Yemen’s President has loudly endorsed the attacks, though other members of the cabinet have termed the civilian deaths caused as unacceptable.
The US seems to be treating the strikes in Yemen much the same as their attacks in Pakistan, refusing to confirm or deny any of their attacks except on those rare occasions when they actually kill someone they have a name for. The rest of the time, the victims are simply labeled suspects and the story simply vanishes.