Reminder: We’re killing innocent civilians in Yemen

Today everyone has been mourning the death of British singer Amy Winehouse. While the cause has yet to be officially determined, it is widely speculated that her death was, at least indirectly, the result of her heavy usage of crack cocaine. It can be said then, while still a sad event nonetheless, that her death was hastened by her own recklessness.

The 30 people killed by the United States military drone strikes in Yemen, on the other hand, died by no fault of their own:

The United States and the Yemeni government have stepped up their efforts to target militants, including those Islamists who’ve taken over several cities in recent weeks.

The government said that a U.S. drone was not involved in the attack and that its air forces conducted the raid. The Interior Ministry said on its website that nine fighters were killed and dozens were wounded and that the number of deaths was expected to rise.

There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.

Both sources, a security official and a senior security source, didn’t want their names used because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The airstrike occurred in al-Wathee district in Abyan province. One of the sources said more than a dozen people were wounded.

The strike targeted a police station that had been taken over by suspected al Qaeda fighters, the sources said. U.S. drones had been seen flying over the area in recent days, and more attacks were expected, the sources said.

At least seven vehicles and other equipment belonging to the fighters were destroyed.

“The casualty toll is high because fighters were gathered in that area with family members,” said the senior security source in Abyan.

Two witnesses said that at least 30 civilians who had been hiding from the attacks were among the dead.

“No one knows who is dying in Abyan,” said Yousra Bandar, a mother of three. “We want to leave the province, but go to where? Leaving the province is a slow death for all of us.”

Two years ago, a U.S. drone attack in Abyan killed 62 people.


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