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article imageOp-Ed: Over the last two months U.S. made 80 drone strikes on Yemen

By Ken Hanly     May 1, 2017 in World
Instead of pursuing a more isolationist and nationalist policy as suggested by some of Trump's campaign rhetoric, Trump has adopted an opposite policy of ramping up U.S. military activity in several different countries including Yemen.
In Yemen, the Pentagon reports that there have been at least 80 airstrikes just in March and April. The latest strike on Sunday is said to have killed five people although another report claims that the strike that destroyed a car in central Maarib Province killed four people. As usual, those killed were said to be "Al-Qaeda suspects" by Yemeni officials. None were publicly identified. Locals say that two of those killed were members of a tribe in the area but they did not know who the other two were. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the main al-Qaeda-linked group in Yemen but there are also members of the Islamic State(IS) operating in Yemen as well.
AQAP often has ties to local Sunni tribes and cooperates with them in fighting the rebel Houthis who are Shia and have the support of Iran. The Houthis control much of the north and east of Yemen still whereas the formerly exiled government of Mansour Hadi hold the southern port of Aden and surrounding territory as well as the far eastern area of Yemen plus the island of Socotra. Very rarely are any of those slain actually named publicly so it is difficult to verify the alleged Al Qaeda connections of those killed. The drone attacks are widely condemned although Hadi supports them.
The U.S. has not only carried out drone attacks, it also carried out a commando attack the Yakla raid, at the end of January this year shortly after Trump's inauguration: One U.S. Navy SEAL was killed and three other SEALs were wounded in the raid. Between 14 and 25 civilians,[11] including the eight-year-old American daughter of the deceased Al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, were also killed in the raid along with up to 14 enemy combatants.[12] A Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was destroyed during the operation.
The Trump administration called the operation a success, others claim it was botched and did not even achieve its main aim of capturing or killing a key AQAP leader. The raid is discussed on the attached video.
AQAP is seen by the U.S. as one of the most dangerous branches of the Al-Qaeda global terror network. It has exploited the chaotic situation created by the civil war in Yemen to gain more control and influence in southern and eastern parts of Yemen. Just the day before this strike, a similar strike killed three suspected al-Qaida members in the neighboring province of Shabwa. Both Democratic and Republican hawks no doubt favor Trump's intensification of U.S. involvement in Yemen and elsewhere.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Yemen US relations, US drone strikes in Yemen, aqap
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