Uptick in drone strikes amid U.S., U.K. Yemen evacuations

A suspected U.S. drone killed four suspected militants on Tuesday after embassy evacuation orders

Topics: Drones, Yemen, NSA, Terrorism, AQAP, embassy evacuations, Al-Qaida, Middle East,

According to reports from news agencies, on Tuesday a U.S. drone reportedly killed four Yemeni suspected al-Qaida militants. The targeted attack comes not only amid decisions this week by the U.K. and the U.S. to evacuate all non-essential personnel in Yemen, citing an “extremely high” threat level, but also within the context of an uptick in drone strikes in Yemen of late. As the A.P noted, “There has been a spike in apparent U.S. drone strikes against al-Qaida leaders. The attack Tuesday was the fourth in two weeks.”

While the debate goes on as to whether the U.S. government is simply amping up claims of al-Qaida threats in order to publicly justify surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency, the AP reports that,”Yemeni officials have suggested al-Qaida threats to multiple potential targets in the Arabian Peninsula country in recent days, including foreign installations and government offices in the capital Sanaa as well as to the strategic Bab al-Mandeb straits at the entrance to the Red Sea to the south.”

It’s worth noting that a rise in the number of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen this year is believed by many Yemeni activists to have fomented anti-American sentiment. Indeed, during a U.S. Senate hearing on drone strikes earlier this year, Yemeni youth and human rights activist Baraa Shiban said that U.S. strikes served as “kerosene for insurgency.” ” He commented, “What does the U.S. mean to these people now? A blasted car, and gruesome footage of dead families?”

Following Tuesday’s drone attack, aimed at a vehicle believed to be carrying four AQAP militants, reports from local sources say that the strike “turned [the vehicle] into a ball of fire.” Via Britain’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism:



This strike came amid fears of an impending terrorist attack and a heightened state of alert in the Middle East. The US revealed it had intercepted chatter that could have precipitated a terrorist attack. On August 4 the US shut 19 embassies in the Middle East and North Africa.The UK and other European countries shut their Yemen missions. AQAP was reportedly most likely to launch an attack – three unnamed sources told CNN the group was in the final stages of launching an attack. It had also emerged senior AQAP militant Nasir al Wuhayshi had been made al Qaeda second-in-command. The US reportedly had intercepted communication between al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri and Yemen – most likely transmitted by courier according to CNN.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...