Shocking Quotes From June 2013 Report On Obama’s Secret Drone War (Part Two)

[This series was inspired by this Rolling Stone magazine story.  You can read the full June 3, 2013 report on American drone strikes in Yemen, prepared for the United Nations, here.]

“On 24 May 2010 at approximately 8pm, an American drone targeted two cars between the village of Al-Hawi…and the lands of the Âl ‘Ushan…tribe at Wadi ‘Abida…in the province of Marib. Three men were killed, including the vice-governor of Marib, Jaber Ben Ali Ben Jaber Al-Shabwani…[who] was planning to meet with members of Al-Qaeda in Wadi ‘Abida…in order to persuade them to abandon their armed struggle.” (from Targeted Killing at Jaber Al-Shabwani in Marib on 24 May 2010 (2.2))

“An investigation was promised, in which influential tribesmen were to participate, which momentarily appeased the [infuriated] population and gave the [Yemeni] government some time to recover. A source from the security services took advantage of this lull to [falsely] claim that Al-Qaeda was responsible for the death of Al-Shabwani and his companions because its members had been called to their headquarters.” (from Targeted Killing at Jaber Al-Shabwani in Marib on 24 May 2010 (2.2.))

The U.S. media, however, clearly attributed the attack to the American military. The New York Times reports that ‘It was a secret mission by the United States military, according to American officials.'” (August 15, 2010 New York Times article from Targeted Killing at Jaber Al-Shabwani in Marib on 24 May 2010 (2.2))

“The drone attack and the subsequent manner in which it was dealt with by the Yemeni government has led to a split between the Marib tribes and the central government, with the former questioning the latter’s legitimacy. For months, acts of sabotage on the pipeline leading to the Red Sea were perpetrated, at the cost of millions of dollars to the state. The appeal of Al-Qaeda has also risen in the region.” (from Targeted Killing at Jaber Al-Shabwani in Marib on 24 May 2010 (2.2))

“…[during] the attack of 30 March 2012…three men were killed, two of whom were identified as Al-Qaeda members, while the third was a passerby. [Six] children were injured by shrapnel.” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“On 30 March 2012, at around 4 pm, three explosions were heard in quick succession. A drone fired three missiles on a vehicle in which two Al-Qaeda members were traveling, through the center of the city. The two passengers, whose identities are unknown, were killed when the car exploded. The explosion also killed Saleh Muhammed Saleh As-Sunna…aged 60, who was walking on the other side of the road. He was wounded in his spine and succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Six children who were playing nearby were injured by the missiles.” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

Amin Ali Hassan Al-Wisabi13…Hit by shrapnel in the right thigh

Hamza Khaled Saleh Ba Ziyad10…Hit by shrapnel in the chest

Saleh Ali Omar Ba Ziyad14…Hit by shrapnel in the thigh

Merouan Nasser Ahmed Suleiman Ba Btah14…Hit by shrapnel in the right foot

Abdallah Muhammed Muhammed Ba Qtiyan14…Hit by shrapnel in the back

Saleh Abdelfattah Abdallah Haymid Ba Qtiyan12…Hit by shrapnel in the back” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“I was sitting with my friends there, and we were going to play football, when suddenly we were shaken by the sound of a violent explosion. I looked in front of me and saw a car burning. A missile had struck it. Shrapnel hit me in my foot, but I didn’t feel any pain, and I ran towards the house with blood flowing from my injuryone of my friends lost consciousness.” (Amin Ali Hassan Al-Wisabi from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“One of the victims was a woman by the name of Samira Hamadi Al-Wisabi, aged 48. Her son Nadir, aged 14, recalls: ‘My mother suffered paralysis during the bombing.'” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

Several houses were destroyed. One of the owners, Mr. Muhammed Bafaqih…aged 35, complained that the government had provided no assistance to the families that had lost their property and loved ones, and they were force[d] to rebuild their own homes.” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“…a man…reported that during the [follow-up] attack of May 2012, his house was destroyed and he had to leave Azzan with his family for seven months to seek refuge in Al-Mukalla.” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“Another witness, Abdallah Muhammed Al-Wisabi…aged 35, confirmed that ‘American drones continued to fly over our town, even though Al-Qaeda was no longer there.’ Several inhabitants have expressed terror at the thought of another strike, expecting that they could be hit at any moment. They do not understand why the bombings were carried out in cities when they could just as easily have targeted cars outside of residential areas, or why the suspects were killed rather than arrested.” (from Azzan (Shabwa) on 30 March 2012 (2.3))

“The widespread violence has forced nearly half of the population to flee [the town of Ja’ar]…In June 2012, the conflict [between Ansar Al-Sharia militants and the American, Saudi Arabian and Yemeni militaries] had ended but the [Yemeni] authorities took no steps to investigate attacks that had killed civilians, nor did they put in place any concrete measures to help the wounded, families of victims, or survivors who had lost their homes and possessions.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of 15 May 2012 (2.4))

“In the [June 10, 2011] attack, an 11-year-old boy, Muti’a Ahmed Haider, was killed with his mother, while his cousin was seriously injured. Nader Al-Shadidi [the actual target of the American drone strike] was not present in the house at the time. It appears that he was killed during another American drone attack on 18 October 2012 in an area located in the northwest of Ja’ar.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

“On 2 September 2011, three women and a man of the same family were killed in the area of Al-Kud situated between Zinjibar and Ja’ar. Few families remained in the region following the attack, most fleeing to Aden or elsewhere out of fear. It appears that this attack was carried out by the Yemeni army. The victims’ names are: Anissa Ahmed Ibrahim; her sister, Meriem Ahmed Ibrahim; their mother, Sa’ud Ali Hassan; and the latter’s husband, Abdallah Ali Ben Ali.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

“…the most deadly attack [in Ja’ar] took place on the morning of 15 May 2012 in which 14 people died. The target was the house of the Al-‘Arshani family. A 33-year-old man, Nawir Abdallah Al-‘Arshani…was killed and other people were injured, some seriously. While dozens of people gathered at the scene to rescue the injured, an aircraft returned approximately 15 minutes later, and fired several rockets, which killed 13 men and one woman and injured dozens of others…there was an error in the targeting of the attack. Neighboring homes were also destroyed or damaged. Some witnesses are certain that it was an American plane because it was ‘gray and eagle-shaped,’ while the Yemeni military would not have any such aircraft.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

“I heard the detonation of the bomb and saw smoke. I rushed there in my car. Bystanders told me that the house of Al-‘Arshani, close to mine, had been targeted. Once I arrived on the scene, I found my home in ruins. Three members of my family had been inside and one of them was injured while the other two remained unharmed. I took them to the home of a relative and returned to the scene. It was while I was arriving that the plane flew over a second time and bombed the people who had been assisting the wounded from the first attack. The missile exploded a few meters from my car, and as I stopped suddenly I noticed the back was on fire. I jumped out as soon as possible from the car and saw numerous bodies around me on the ground, naked and burned. I saw seven or eight people at least die at that moment.” (an unnamed taxi driver eyewitness account from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

“After the first strike, I rushed to the scene with my son Muhammed, just like dozens of other people. We were trying to assist the victims when suddenly a second attack took place. I saw many bodies shredded. My son was hit by bomb fragments in the stomach and neck. He died quickly.” (Abdallah Saleh Hussein from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

Nur ‘Udh Haidara Al-Hawla…aged 60, suffered a stroke during the second strike at the sight of the victims on the ground…’I was experiencing high anxiety and had the attack. The State did not help me even though I am a single woman.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

“On 15 June 2012, in Shaqra, a village close to Ja’ar, four houses in which members of armed groups had temporarily stayed prior to the attack, were hit by missiles…One woman and four children were killed, and four others were injured. Ali Al-‘Amoudi, aged 28, survived the attack and told a journalist while he was still in hospital that his four-year-old son and his six-year old daughter had died in his arms on the way to the hospital.” (from The attacks on Ja’ar (Abyan) of May 15 2012 (2.4))

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 6, 2013
10:25 p.m.

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Published in: on July 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] TV coverage, for that matter) regarding President Obama’s ongoing, heartless drone program against hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan; the longterm, fruitless […]

  2. […] When Obama orders drone strikes that kill innocent children, teenagers, men, women and expectant mothers in Middle Eastern countries, how can you stay silent?  Where is your […]

  3. […] policy:  drones.  I decided to highlight some of the more stunning revelations in Shocking Quotes From June 2013 Report On Obama’s Secret Drone War, a four-part series that I wish had been more widely […]

  4. […] are so many examples to highlight but one sticks out more than the rest:  Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the […]


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