A report from Airwars released on Wednesday reveals the extent to which the Trump administration escalated US military operations against al-Qaeda in Yemen. The report found more than 230 declared and alleged US military and CIA operations in Yemen since January 2017. Of those 230 operations, 181 were officially declared by the US.
Most of the actions were carried out in 2017, where Yemen saw a record 133 officially declared US airstrikes and raids, compared to the 150 official operations during the entire presidency’s of George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined. The monitoring group says at least 86 civilians were killed by direct US airstrikes and raids in Yemen between 2017 and 2020.
The report, titled “Ending Transparency,” raises issues with the lack of accountability for civilians killed by the US in Yemen. The US has only admitted to killing between four and 12 civilians in the Arab country from 2017 to 2020, who were all killed in a botched raid during the first days of Trump’s presidency.
President Trump signed off on a ground and air offensive against al-Qaeda in Yemen’s Bayda governorate that took place nine days into his administration. Airwars says the raid killed 20 civilians, including eight-year-old US citizen Nawar al-Awlaki, whose father and brother were killed by separate US drone strikes in 2011.
Like he did in Somalia and Afghanistan, President Trump loosened the rules of engagement in Yemen. Trump also removed transparency measures from covert drone operations, removing civilian harm reporting requirements for the CIA.
The Pentagon is still obligated to submit reports to Congress on civilian harm. In its 2018 and 2019 annual civilian casualty reports, the Pentagon said it found “no credible reports of civilian casualties resulting from US military actions in Yemen.” But Airwars found US actions likely caused at least 30 civilian deaths during 2018 and 2019.
The report noted that since 2017, Yemen has seen a sharp decline in US operations against al-Qaeda or the so-called Islamic State in Yemen, a group the US has also targeted. US Central Command last admitted to an airstrike in Yemen on June 24th 2019. Since then, Airwars said they tracked 30 incidents of alleged US strikes in Yemen, 15 of which were assessed as “likely US strikes based on local reporting.”
Since March 2015, the US has supported the Saudi-led coalition in its fight against the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis were a partner of the US in the fight against al-Qaeda in Yemen as recently as January 2015, when reports said the US was sharing intelligence with the group. Investigations show US weapons sold to Saudi Arabia and the UAE end up in the hands of al-Qaeda in Yemen.
The US-backed war against the Houthis has been devastating for the civilian population of Yemen. In 2019, The UN estimated the conflict killed about 233,00 people, with 102,000 killed by direct violence. The rest of the deaths were attributed to starvation and disease directly caused by the coalition’s targeting of civilian infrastructure and the blockade on the country.
19 thoughts on “Report: Trump Significantly Escalated Strikes and Raids in Yemen”
May he burn in Hell …
The Man of Peace, still the hero of so many on this site. Not saying Biden will be any better in that respect but at least he won’t claim he’s already defeated the pandemic. (Not kidding. It’s now officially on his list of accomplishments.) Oh and btw the stock market just crashed … can’t imagine why.
Biden could turn out to be worse from a peace & war perspective. He has given our ME buddy a pass saying, he won’t cut the billions we give them, no matter what they do. Does that sound like a balanced view of American interests, or Wright and wrong…?????? Or Anthing?
“he won’t cut the billions we give them, no matter what they do”
How is the same worse? He won’t outdo Trump. Unless he keeps Kushner and Freidman.
At the end of the day, you’re comparing what a guy might do versus what a guy is actually doing. And what both have done in the past and how either impacts you immediately.
Now, if I were living in the US, maybe just this once I’d overlook the long term near-impossible goal of reshaping American foreign policy for the short term gain of someone taking the pandemic seriously, hell, anyone who actually gives a damn about health care in general never mind a pandemic that will ruin your economy if left unchecked forever (which is where Trump has led you so far) until a vaccine is found and released–not in a few weeks as T. keeps lying but more likely spring 2021 or even later.
In normal times maybe you can focus on a single issue but if, like pro-life voters, that’s all you care about, it blinds you to when you are actually voting against your self-interest (Trump is not pro-life, he’s not a Christian, he’s not any of things his cult believe him to be). Just imagine what this man will be like when he no longer has to be concerned about being re-elected. What lip service he has given to concern about norms or indeed his promises to his base, including anti-war voters like yourself, will evaporate. That’s just to be expected from a guy with a personality like this.
He has not delivered or been able to deliver on anything except massive super-ric tax cuts. Space Army? Iran? Nearly and needlessly antagonized to the brink. Syria? Guarding the oil. Allies “no angels” (again; yes, get out, but do it responsibly, don’t greenlight Turkey’s own monster who happens to be in NATO). Afgahnistan? A joke of a peace process crumbling faster than it can be rebuilt. ME? Total capitulation–and indeed slovenly acquiesence–to Israel. Kushner’s recent racist rant against blacks is almost word for word what he said about the Palestinians. NK? He lost interest after the photo ops were done and left Bonkers to sort out a deal. The Americans would say the NKers had agreed to denuclearization, the NKers would say somethiing totally different. It was entirely for your consumption, to convince you he was giving you what you wanted. You’ve been had just like everyone else who voted for him has, and it’s time you just admitted it to yourself.
Again, even if you think Biden is no better on this stuff–at least he will actually DO something about your domestic problems other than treat every protester as a nail to be hammered. The White House staff will actually START wearing masks and attempt social distancing and the person in charge of the Task Force will self isolate if there’s an exposure instead of travelling all over the country. Biden’s rallies are organized responsibly with social distancing. Each one of Trump’s is yet another superspreader event. I cannot begin to tell you how much I feel sorry for his supporters (I’m sure you heard about the Nebraska debacle) even though it would be so easy to dismiss them as bringing it on themselves. Even so. Like you, they just want something to believe in and they think they’ve found it. It would take something truly damning to break through to them.
This is so much more than political. I have three old Oxford alumni American friends living in the US (Florida, Georgia, New York). One of them has terminal cancer. His experimental treatmets were stopped because everything is as Trump dismissively said is Covid Covid Covid. Well, it is what it is. Just not as he sees it. I guess that’s one reason why this pulls so at my heart strings. It’s not that I’m trying to change your vote–you probably already have voted–this is as much an open lamentation as it is an attempt at a thoughtful response.
Here’s the Don talking to people in Omaha:
“With the fake news, everything is COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID,” Trump complained at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday, chiding the news media and pointing to his own recovery from the illness to downplay its gravity: “I had it. Here I am, right?”
Here it’s people in Pennsylvania:
“One great thing about being president: If you’re not feeling 100%, you have got more doctors than you thought existed in the world,” Trump said to cheers.
“I cannot begin to tell you how much I feel sorry for his supporters (I’m sure you heard about the Nebraska debacle) even though it would be so easy to dismiss them as bringing it on themselves.”
Among those people in Nebraska were senior citizens. These people are out in frigid wet weather cheering on the man who promised to cut the payroll tax permanently if re-elected. I would assume they are living, at least partly, on what the payroll tax funds. So yes, they indeed are bringing their own misery on to themselves
They started walking back the pandemic thing as soon as the ink was dry. I’m sure we’ll hear it was “fake news” or it was taken out of context.
Trump is being given a gigantic pass by Scott and Dr.Paul, with their stance on how Trump is lessening America’s Imperialistic march. There seems to be a blood lust in our National DNA.
The blood lust in Yenem doesn’t reside in America’s DNA so much as in others from places closer to the Midle East killing fields.
Man is a low-life.
trying to succeed with policies made by other crazy people (Adelson??) that make no sense and harm American interests & prestige.
27 October 2020 – Acute malnutrition rates among children under the age of five are the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen… This leaves at least 98,000 children under five at high risk of dying without urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
Escalated Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, drone strikes, sanctions, increased military spending, increased weapons sales, space force, upgrading nukes, lifted rules of engagement and did so all while being the most bombastic asshole that ever stepped into the white house. And all we can hope for is more of the same without as much bombast.
Wish I could be as succinct as you. I do tend to go on, see above.
“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the U.S.” —
Robin Cook, former British Foreign Secretary (Died of ‘heart attack’ whilst running on his own.)
Where are the White Helmets in Yemen ?
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