US Drone Strike Kills Three in Yemen, Raising Questions of Authorization

No Yemeni President to Sign Off on Attacks

Reports last week of a halt to US drone strikes in Yemen, in as much as Yemen doesn’t have a government anymore, didn’t last long, with a drone strike today killing three people in the central Maariv Province.

It was claimed that the three people were “al-Qaeda operatives.,” and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said that the killed included only one of their fighters, along with an “anti-Houthi” tribesman and the teenage son of another drone strike victim.

The US has long claimed permission from Yemeni presidents for the drone war, but since there isn’t a president since the resignation of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, they can’t even claim a secret understanding, as they have in Pakistan.

The White House has been keen to insist that their policy toward Yemen won’t change because of Hadi’s ouster, and today’s strike seems to be an effort to underscore that. The legal basis for the killings, however, is even flimsier than usual.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of