Two U.S. Drones Kill Seven in Southern Yemen

drone strikes kill seven

Two cars, traveling on a Yemen highway, exploded Friday.  There were seven al-Qaeda militants inside.  Two U.S. drone strikes killed all seven.

Just days after President Obama said he would only use drone strikes if a threat was “continuing and imminent”, an apparent attack has been made in southern Yemen.

Yemen is considered a stronghold of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, (AQAP). Militants have gained ground because of a weak central government.

AQAP is considered the most active and dangerous branch of al-Qaeda.

Yemen is virtually a lawless and a horribly impoverished nation that is located  on energy shipment routes and shares a long, porous border with Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

John Kerry, Secretary of State, presented the administration’s position regarding the use of drones.

“Despite our first preference for detention and prosecution of terrorists — that’s our first preference — sometimes, lethal action is necessary in order to protect US lives,” the top US diplomat told reporters alongside his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle.

“Our actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11.  Within a week, the United States Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force,” Kerry said.

“Under domestic law and international law, the United States is at war with al Qaeda and the Taliban and their associated forces.”

Kerry was reiterating the position President Obama took on May 23rd.  The President defended using drones to attack America’s enemies.  He gave multiple reasons why drone use is favorable over invasion of nations to seek out and eliminate those who seek our country’s destruction.

Mr. Obama declared that all efforts would be made to ensure civilians would not be injured in drone attacks.

Friday, drones killed seven.  On Wednesday, a US drone strike killed the deputy chief of the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s lawless tribal northwest, officials said, dealing a major blow to the militant network.

Waliur Rehman, the number two in the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction, died along with at least five others when an unmanned US drone fired two missiles on a house in North Waziristan district.

There has been no confirmation of the strike by the White House.  Pakistan’s newly elected president, Nawaz Sharif, condemned Wednesday’s strike.  The Yemen strike Friday killed seven, and has also not been confirmed by the President or his staff.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express