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Common Dreams

Yemen Asks US to Supply It With Drones

President Hadi defends drone strikes, but "civilians have been killed and injured," says Yemeni teen

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

In the midst of a spate of U.S. drone attacks on Yemen which have left civilians terrorized and innocents killed, the Yemeni president has asked Washington to provide his country with drones of its own, state news agency Saba reported.

In a speech on Thursday, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi also said that "The drones that are conducting operations are part of the cooperation between us and the United States," Saba reported.

This "cooperative" drone war on Yemen has been widely condemned by Yemenis.  The drone strikes have targeted supposed al-Qaeda "militants," though exactly who these people are, why they cannot be brought to justice without an assassination and who else is killed in the attacks remains unclear.

Hadi also defended the use of drones by saying they were more accurate than other weapons, and vowed to continue the fight against al-Qaeda.  "We will pursue them until they seek peace, give up their weapons and return to their senses as Yemeni citizens and not as enemies of Yemen, and kick out the foreigners who carry out these military attacks with them," Hadi said in his speech.

For the people of impoverish nation, however, continued drone strikes mean a continuation of trauma.

"You just don't know when another one will come," a Yemeni teenager from the Marib province told journalist Adam Baron. "Civilians have been killed and injured. Each time we hear the sound of a plane, we immediately worry it will happen again." 

"Do Americans know this?" he asked, fighting tears. "Does your government?"

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