A US drone strike attacked northern Yemen today, killing at least six people. None of the victims were identified, but all the dead were dubbed “suspected al-Qaeda militants” by Yemeni officials.
The attack destroyed a pair of cars in the al-Mahashma area of al-Jawf, and officials said they assumed they were carrying al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members, though al-Jawf is a predominantly Shi’ite region and the AQAP is almost exclusively active in the southern portion of the country.
Though the level of outrage is still minor compared to Pakistan, drone strikes in Yemen are increasingly controversial, with locals in the targeted areas saying they feel the attacks are killing random people and that they are drumming up more support for AQAP.
Yemeni ruler Maj. Gen. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has repeatedly endorsed the drone strikes, and his aides have claimed “9/11” obliges Yemen to allow US attacks, even though AQAP didn’t even exist at the time.
Hadi came to power in a US-backed election last year, an election notable primarily in that he was the only candidate and “no” votes weren’t allowed. Despite every vote necessarily being in favor of Hadi, he only managed to carry 99.8% of the ballots cast.