Three US drone strikes hit the Abyan Province today, killing at least five people, all of whom the Yemeni government termed “suspected al-Qaeda fighters.”
The Abyan Province was taken over by fighters from the Ansar al-Sharia faction during 2012, but has been retaken militarily by the Yemeni government, with US drones providing air support.
Islamist factions have remained active in the region, however, and anger at the US drone strikes has given them a recruitment boost with locals, who complain that many of the victims of the strikes are innocent civilians.
The Yemeni government has endorsed the drone strikes, insisting they are obliged to accept US strikes because of 9/11. This position has fueled resentment with civilians in the regions targeted by strikes, however.
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