US drone escalation in Yemen has been anticipated to continue into 2013, but perhaps no one imagined just how much escalation there would be, as the Obama Administration has launched attacks for five consecutive days now, killing 24 people.
The latest strike came in Khwlan, just southeast of the capital city of Sanaa, with a missile destroying a car and killing at least seven people in the area. All were labeled “suspected militants” by Yemeni officials.
US drone strikes against Yemen have soared in the past year, with 17 attacks in 2011 and 54 in 2012. January isn’t even over but 2013 looks to be on pace to be dramatically more yet again, with Yemeni ruler Maj. Gen. Hadi cheering the strikes and insisting they will continue.
Still, the civilian deaths in such strikes, poorly documented as they are, have created some dissent in the Yemeni cabinet, with at least one minister criticizing the attacks as a human rights violation. As more attacks cause more innocent deaths and predictably more blowback, opposition may continue to grow.