US drone attack hits wedding party in Yemen

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Safar 10, 1435 2013-12-13

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Addicted to killing innocent people with drones, this time the US targeted a wedding party in Yemen. At least 17 guests were murdered yesterday when a drone strike hit a car that was traveling in a wedding convoy. It was the second strike this week in Yemen. Obama calls drone strikes as precision weapons but the number of civilians killed show a callousness that borders on the scandalous.

Washington DC, Crescent Online
December 13, 2013, 16:49 EST

A US drone attack hit a group of people who were traveling to a wedding party in Yemen, killing 17 of them on Thursday (December 12). It was the second US drone strike in Yemen this week. The attack occurred near Radaa in the al-Bayda province. It struck a car in a wedding convoy.

“This was a tragic mistake and comes at a very critical time. None of the killed was a wanted suspect by the Yemeni government,” said “a top Yemeni national security official” who gave his comment to CNN. The CNN story also noted that true to form, “US officials declined to comment on the report.”

The residents of Radaa have been outraged: “More than 50 innocent civilians in our town have been killed by drones,” said Abdullah al-Kabra, an eyewitness to the latest US drone strike.

Drone strikes, touted by Barack Obama as a precise targeting weapon in the US “war on terror” is terrorizing civilians across Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and other regions. For instance in October 2012, 68-year-old Pakistani grandmother Mamana Bibi was killed in a double strike as she picked vegetables in the family's fields while surrounded by her grandchildren, according to a recently released report by Amnesty International.

Initially, the US alleged it had targeted a group of militants travelling on a road near the house where Maman Bibi was killed. When the village residents and the victim’s family pointed out that there is no road near their mud house, the US changed its stance saying it would investigate. Washington has not so far admitted to killing the elderly grandmother in Pakistan’s tribal region of North Waziristan.

Among the children also injured in the October 2012 attack was Nabeela Rahman, then 8. She came to testify before the US Congress at the end of October this year. Despite her gripping testimony, no US official is willing to admit that they killed an innocent woman and injured her equally innocent grandchildren.

Research by human rights and international watch dog organizations clearly shows that the drone strikes intended for “al-Qaeda” militants kill and maim a disproportionally large number of civilians. Amnesty International has also highlighted the blame-worthy secrecy with which these attacks are carried out: “This secrecy has enabled the USA to act with impunity and block victims from receiving justice or compensation. As far as Amnesty is aware, no US official has ever been held to account for unlawful killings by drones.”

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