Pakistan to Yemen, Drone Attacks are Greatest Security Risk
With the May 5th Hellfire missile attack in Nissab in Yemen’s Shabwa province the United States has continued yet another campaign of military airstrikes inside a country that is thought to have a significant population of Taliban fighters. As in Pakistan, the US is using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to select and destroy targets. However, as we have seen with the attacks in Pakistan, the targets are seldom the only casualties in these incursions.
The U.S. has launched attacks inside Yemen in the past. A source in the U.S. government has indicated that the U.S. Navy carried out a Dec.17 strike near the village of al-Maajala that killed a senior leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The United States has reportedly used UAVs to attack targets in Yemen on a number of occasions.
In November 2002, the CIA launched a UAV strike against Abu Ali al-Harithi and five confederates in Marib. More recently a May 24th 2010 strike inside the Yemen boarder generated a great deal of anger among Yemen’s tribes when what was thought to be a drone attack killed a mediator that was seeking to persuade al Qaeda members to surrender. The mediator and three others were killed in the pre-dawn strike on his car in the mountainous Maarib province.
In response to the airstrikes the Yemeni tribesmen took an American couple hostage although they were not harmed and were released without incident, the situation shows how "the actions of the U.S. military and the policy of airstrikes inside sovereign nations is the primary cause for security risks to American civilians and military personnel." a government source said.
Another direct result of this situation was the attack in that region on the pipeline that ferries crude oil from Maarib, east of the capital Sanaa, to the Red Sea coast. The tribesmen attacked the pipeline while also firing weapons at government building in the area.
With recent uproar over whether or not to release the photos of Osama Bin Laden and the tensions that have been building between Muslim populated countries and the U.S., there have been many reasons given by the Obama administration as to why they have thus far not released the photos. The Obama administration has sighted the heightened risk that releasing such graphic photos would present to troops and civilians both home and abroad. Obama has said that they could or would be used to incite more anti-American sentiment in those countries.
It has been demonstrated in incident after incident that the aggressive foreign policy and military airstrikes that have been documented as killing many more civilians than Taliban, Al-Qaeda or resistance fighters has incited a great number of violent reprisals and an open anti-American sentiment.