Published on
Common Dreams

Using Social Media, Yemeni Pushes Back Against US Drone Strike Narrative

Media uncritically report on missile strike, but closer look reveals possible darker aspects of US 'Dirty Wars'

Jon Queally, staff writer

Following reports of two US drone bombings in Yemen on Wednesday, a deeper look at the situation in the country reveals just how little critical reporting is done in the aftermath of such airstrikes in a country that few Western readers well understand.

While prominent news outlets reported that "unnamed officials" speaking "on the condition of anonymity" claim the bombings killed "suspected Al Qaeda operatives," more critical observers of the developments—and the press treatment they received—used the episode to make deeper comments about the role of the US drone program abroad.

According to a widely reprinted Associated Press report:

Four were killed in the first strike while riding a vehicle in the desert area of Oussab al-Ali, about 90 miles south of Sana, the official said.

The second strike killed a fifth suspected jihadist, Hamed Radman. A drone bombed his house, the official said.

Radman is known to security authorities as an influential al Qaeda member and played a role in recruitment, he said.

A witness in a nearby village said he saw columns of smoke rising after two explosions rocked the area.

The region south of the Yemeni capital has become a hideout for the militants.

He said that US drones have been flying over his village for three days and are still in the sky.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

Responding to the news, however, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill tweeted:

Scahill has been a vocal critic of the US drone program in Yemen and elsewhere. His upcoming book, Dirty Wars, is an in-depth look at the covert wars of the US military and intelligence agencies in the post-9/11 era.

In addition, Scahill retweeted this from Farea Al-muslimi, a English-speaking Yemeni who lives in the village where the strikes took place:

Giving a Yemeni perspective on the events, Al-muslimi continued to tweet from Wednesday into Thursday, responding to online chatter about the attacks and pointing out inconsistencies of official accounts and commenting on the manner in which the details of the story were being conveyed in Western circles:


Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.

No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article