US drones attacked and destroyed a vehicle traveling along the highway in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa, killing both people within. As usual, neither was identified, though Yemeni officials were quick to label the slain “al-Qaeda suspects.”
This marks the third US drone strike against Yemen since President Trump took office. Apart from nations in which the US is actively militarily involved, Yemen is so far the only nation hit with any drone strikes during Trump’s term. Yemen was also the target of a significant weekend ground raid, which killed scores of people.
The US policy of anonymous killings in places like Yemen with no public discussion of the attacks, leaving the aftermath up to pro-US local officials to dutifully declare as an appropriate attack on a real target, was something that became hugely common during the Obama Administration, in which thousands of “suspects” were killed but never identified.
It appears the Trump Administration is following the Obama example on the drone strikes, not offering any transparency about who they are killing or why. This may suggest that CIA drone killings have become essentially a permanent amount of the agency’s operations, and not dependent on who happens to be president at the time.