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Thursday, September 18, 2014

U.S. Drone murders innocent Yemenis

 

 

democracy now logo U.S. Drone murders innocent Yemenis

 

Turning a Wedding Into a Funeral: U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen Killed as Many as 12 Civilians

Investigation reveals that 12 civilians were killed when a U.S. drone targeted a wedding procession in Yemen.

drone 1 300x225 U.S. Drone murders innocent Yemenis

By Amy Goodman & Juan González

Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a U.S. drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going toward the groom’s village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad’a. According toHRW, “some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians” and not members of the armed group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as U.S. and Yemeni government officials initially claimed. The report concluded that the attack killed 12 men, between the ages of 20 and 65, and wounded 15 others. It cites accounts from survivors, relatives of the dead, local officials and news media reports. We speak to Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler, who wrote the report, “A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen,” and Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the TheIntercept.org, a new digital magazine published by First Look Media. He is the producer and writer of the documentary film, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield,” which is nominated for an Academy Award.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A new report has revealed that a U.S. drone strike that killed at least a dozen people in Yemen in December failed to comply with rules imposed by President Obama last year to protect civilians. The strike was carried out by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command and targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going towards the groom’s village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad’a. According to the Human Rights Watch investigation, quote, “some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians” and not members of the armed group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as U.S. and Yemeni government officials initially claimed. The report concluded that the attack killed 12 men between the ages of 20 and 65 and wounded 15 others. It cites accounts from survivors, relatives of the dead, local officials and news media reports.

One of the witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed in Yemen was Abdullah Muhammad al-Tisi of Yakla. He described the scene on the day the wedding procession was attacked on December 12, 2013. His son, Ali Abdullah Muhammad al-Tisi, was killed in that drone strike.

ABDULLAH MUHAMMAD AL-TISI: [translated] We were having a traditional marriage ceremony. According to our traditions, the whole tribe has to go to the bride’s tribe. We were in about 12 to 15 cars with 60 to 70 men on board. He had lunch at the bride’s village at Al Abu Saraimah. Then we left to head back to the groom’s village.

A drone was hovering overhead all morning. There were one or two of them. One of the missiles hit the car. The car was totally burned. Four other cars were also struck. When we stopped, we heard the drone fire. Blood was everywhere, and the people killed and injured were scattered everywhere. The area was full of blood, dead bodies and injured people. I was injured. I saw the missile hit the vehicle behind the car my son was driving.

INTERVIEWER: [translated] Was it your car?

ABDULLAH MUHAMMAD AL-TISI: [translated] It was my own car. I went there to check on my son. I found his body thrown from the car. I turned him over, and he was dead. He was already dead.

I didn’t see any al-Qaeda militants in the procession, and no one from the area is a member of al-Qaeda.

Read More 100 U.S. Drone murders innocent Yemenis

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Report: US drone may have killed dozen civilians

 

 

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