Yesterday the government of Yemen has decided to not allow any US “boots on the ground” moving forward. This takes place after a Navy Seal raid on Jan 29th that killed 14 “enemy combatants” along with dozens of cilivians and children. The raid was carried out with minor intelligence, continuing to provide extremist groups with more recruiting opportunities.
The ban is not suprising for anyone who has followed the slaughter in Yemen bein carried out Saudi Arabia. The US has been carrying out its own black ops operation in the country for most of Obama’s years in office. The drone campaign in the rural part of the country helped Al Qaeda grow a foothold in the country.
US officials have said this ban does not include the drone strikes, which is par the course for a Yemeni government that has no real power over not only it’s country, but the foreign powers fighting a proxy war within it.
The Obama Administration had all but halted its drone war against Pakistan’s tribal areas earlier this year, and at times went weeks or even months in between attacks. It was seen as a concession to the Sharif government, as the Pakistani PM promised in his campaign to end the attacks.
Those days also seem to be over, as another US drone strike tore through Datta Khel, North Waziristan today killing two more people. It was the fifth distinct US strike against Waziristan in just four days.
The five strikes have killed at least 23 people, none of them identified by name, but every single one labeled a “suspected militant” by Pakistani officials. One, killed over the weekend, was termed an Uzbek “militant commander,” though he was similarly never identified by name in reports to the press.
The incidents are typical of the US drone campaign, with huge numbers of slain never conclusively identified, and locals complaining large numbers of civilians are actually being slain and then labeled suspects for no other reason than having been hit with a missile.
Also noteworthy is that, while the Sharif government loudly condemned US strikes in the immediate wake of taking office, they have been virtually mum on the matter in recent weeks, and haven’t offered the sort of condemnations that were normally to be expected.