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Yemen: US drone strikes kill 69 suspects in ten days

October 26, 2017 at 11:41 am

Buildings in ruin after an air strike hit Yemen on 6 August 2016 [United Nations OCHA/Flickr]

The US administration is increasing targeted drone strikes in Yemen, killing some 60 suspected fighters in the last ten days in addition to nine suspects yesterday, US Central Command told MEMO.

“In the last ten days, US forces have targeted and killed approximately 60 ISIS terrorists in Yemen,” Maj Earl Brown, US CENTCOM spokesman confirmed, using another name for Daesh.

Two separate airstrikes targeted moving vehicles and killed “nine ISIS terrorists in the Al-Bayda Governorate of Yemen”, Brown continued. The strikes were in coordination with the Yemen government’s ongoing counter-terrorism operations against “ISIS and AQAP to degrade the groups’ ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to hold territory seized from the legitimate government”, Brown explained.

US CENTCOM did not respond to MEMO’s questions on the number of civilian casualties killed in the strikes.

Since March, President Donald Trump has increased the use of drones in Yemen. New rules were introduced to launch strikes without the need for US congressional approval, and to consider certain areas in Yemen as “temporary battlefields”.

Read: 5 suspected al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen by drone strike

US drone operations to combat Daesh in Yemen are currently “authorised under the 2001 AUMF”, Major Adrian Rakaine-Galloway, US Pentagon spokesman, told MEMO.

The 2001 Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) was passed in the US to fight those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The Daesh group in Yemen did not exist or take part in the armed attack in 2001.

The US government has remained hesitant to renew the domestic authorisation that permits the use of force against new armed groups.

The US has killed 1,238 people with drone strikes, with 300 reported injured in strikes since 2002.