Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A photo purportedly showing US drone strike victim Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman, who is estimated to be 12 years old. (Photo via National Organization for Drone Victims)

US Drone Kills Sixth Grade Boy in Yemen, says Human Rights Group

Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman, described as 'a normal kid,' killed four years after father and brother were both killed in 2011 drone strike

Lauren McCauley

A sixth grade Yemeni boy was among the three victims killed by a U.S. drone strike on Monday, a human rights group has said.

The alleged CIA strike, which marked the first reported U.S. drone strike in Yemen this year, came just two days after U.S. military officials announced that the drone campaign would not by deterred by ongoing unrest in the region.

According to reports, the three victims were killed while traveling in a vehicle in central-southern Yemen near the Hareeb, Shabwa-Mareb border.

Though the deceased were reportedly members of the local militant group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), local human rights organization Yemeni National Organisation for Drone Victims (NODV) confirmed to Reuters that one of the victims, Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman, was a child. "He was in sixth grade, so his age was between about 11-13 years old," said NODV head Mohammed al-Qawli. He described him as "a normal kid."

Reuters continues:

NODV said that Taeiman's 65-year-old father, Saleh Qayed Taeiman, died along with one of his sons called Jalal, 16, in the 2011 drone strike. A third brother, 17-year-old Ezz el-Deen, survived another drone strike, but still has shrapnel in his body, NODV said.

NODV said that one of the other victims in Monday's strike was identified as Abdallah Khaled Aziz al-Zindani, a farm worker married to a woman from the Taeiman clan, which was due to meet with other tribes in the area to discuss their response.

Earlier, Baraa Shiban, Yemen-based project coordinator with the international human rights organization Reprieve, also offered details about the age of the youngest victim in a series of posts on Twitter.

And Yemeni journalist Hafez Albukari shared this photograph purportedly of the strike aftermath.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama defended his ongoing drone campaign in Yemen, saying: "It is not neat and it is not simple, but it is the best option that we have." The Monday strike was the first since the U.S.-allied Yemeni President Abed Mansour Hadi and his cabinet were forced to resign by Houthi rebels, who had seized control of the capital Sana'a.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that as many as 85 confirmed U.S. drone strikes in Yemen have killed up to 544 people since 2002. However, the group notes as many as one hundred additional drone strikes may have occurred during that time.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Truss' Tories Plan to Slash Public Spending While Clinging to Chaos-Causing Tax Cuts

"When the IMF tells you, 'hang on guys, this is going to be so bad for inequality it needs a rethink,' you've got a serious problem," one U.K. activist said of the new mini-budget.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders, Kaine Hail US Senate's Passage of Brazil Election Resolution

"It is important for the people of Brazil to know we're on their side, on the side of democracy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "With passage of this resolution, we are sending that message."

Brett Wilkins ·


Highland Park Victims Sue Gun-Maker, Stores Over Negligence and Deceptive Practices

Lawyers argued that the "shooter was the type of a young consumer susceptible to Smith & Wesson's deceptive and unfair marketing, and was enabled by his father."

Julia Conley ·


NC Dems Plead for Cash as Beasley Deadlocked With GOP Opponent in Decisive US Senate Race

Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley has a one-point lead, but Trump-backed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd is getting more support from the Republican Party.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Yeah, Right': Pentagon Report Claiming US Military Killed Just 12 Civilians Last Year Met With Skepticism

"Once again the confirmed civilian casualty count is below what communities on the ground are reporting," lamented Emily Tripp, director of the monitor group Airwars.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo