Yesterday’s report that the US killed eight in a combined drone and warplane attack on a Yemeni police station in the southern town of Wadyia has been dramatically revised upwards, with reports now putting the death toll at 50.
Yemeni reports say that the police station, which had been taken over by an opposition faction (which controls much of that province) and some media outlets termed all 50 slain as “al-Qaea militants,” though obviously their identities could not be confirmed.
The Ansar al-Sharia, the opposition faction in question, is accused of having close ties with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They are also accused of having designs on taking over the major city of Aden, though their ability to do so is still very much in doubt.
At the same time, Yemen’s military is hard at work attacking civilian protestersm with attacks on the city of Taiz killing seven and wounding 30. The military’s inability to retake the south even as it continues to attack peaceful demonstrations has led many in the opposition to conclude the loss of territory was deliberate to bring the US into the civil war on their side. Still the military has made efforts to retake those towns, and has failed miserably, so the simpler explanation may be weakness rather than a ploy.