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

[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.]

“When I arrived on the scene of the explosion, I saw parts of a body mixed with parts of the motorcycle[A unidentified “out-of-town” man’s] body was charred. It seems that a missile had missed the target, the second struck a motorcycle with two people on it, and the third blew up the second bike. The three bodies were shredded. We collected the remains without knowing who they were.” (40-year-old eyewitness Hassan Ibrahim Suleiman from Al-Shihr (Hadramout) on 28 December 2012 (2.8))

“We took him to the hospital where the doctor warned us that bomb fragment had hit the bone of his forearm and he needed surgery to remove the fragment…We had to pay ourselves, while we have 10 children and we are very poor. And now, two months later, Hassan complains of pain in the hand that was hit by the explosion…The authorities do not help us.” (37-year-old Um Hassan on the serious injury sustained by her 9-year-old son, Mawz Hassan Abdullah Hassan who was just playing outside of his home 50 metres away when another American drone strike occurred from Al-Shihr (Hadramout) on 28 December 2012 (2.8))

“The bodies were shredded and charred, scattered and difficult to identify…Among those affected were also two civilians unconnected with armed groups.” (from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013 (2.9))

“Inhabitants report having heard the buzzing of drones during the 10 days preceding the strike, a sound resembling that of diesel-powered generators. On the day of the attack, thousands of Shi’ites had gathered to celebrate the birth of the prophet [Muhammad] in the town of Jahana…” (from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013 (2.9))

“The [targeted] vehicle was driven by Muhsin Muhammed Jamila 20-year-old student who was one of the two civilian victims. He rented his car as a taxi to his uncle Salim Hussein Ahmed Jamil Al-Qawli…The other civilian was his cousin Ali Ali Saleh Al-Qawlia 33-year-old school teacher in Khawlan.” (from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013 (2.9))

“We were in shock. Bodies were still burning and their limbs were scattered. There were six victims, my brother [Muhsin], my cousin [Ali] and four men from Sanhan. We found four craters caused by the impact of the missiles. We tried to put the fire out in the car for more than half an hour, then we collected the scattered limbs until 11 pm when we transported them to the hospital in order to bury them later…At first we were not able to identify them, but we eventually identified our two family members.” (eyewitness Mohamed Ali Al-Qawli from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013 (2.9))

“Here are the gifts and aid and support of the United States to Yemenis. For some time now, we have heard talk of American support to Yemen and we do not know what it means. Now we can see this support thanks to the fragments of these explosives and missiles that kill Yemenis, destroy their spirits and burn their bodies.” (An angrily sarcastic Mr. Al-Qawli holding the fragments of the missiles launched from an American drone strike as he seethes from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013 (2.9))

“…the relatives of Salim [are] overburdened by the misfortune that had befallen them. Salim was the one who had materially supported them with his work with his car [used as a taxi], in addition to his work on a farm.” (from The Attack on Khawlan (Sanaa) of 23 January 2013) (2.9))

“…U.S. drones…targeted a four-wheel-drive car…[Inside] were four people [who were killed]: Hamid Muhammed Radman Al- Hadidi Al-Radami…a 40-year-old former soldier, married…father of 8 children; Isma’il Ahmed Muhamad Al-Muqdishi…the father of three children; Mukram Ahmed Hamud Al-Haj Al-Da’ar…a 20-year-old; and Ghazi Hamud Ahmed Saad Al-‘Imad…a 28-year-old father of two children.” (from Attack on Wusab of 17 April 2013 (3.10))

“The fourth victim, Ghazi Al-‘Imad, was injured and could not be saved due to the presence of an American [drone] plane that was flying over the scene of the attack.” (from Attack on Wusab of 17 April 2013 (3.10))

“I was in the office with colleagues when around 8 pm we heard the first explosion. We went out to see what had happened when five minutes later a second explosion, stronger than the first, sounded. We went to the scene and people informed us that Sheikh Hamid Al-Radami’s car had been targeted by a bombing. In the distance, we heard a voice calling for help, and ran towards it. The car was destroyed, but the fire was not extinguished. Hamid was half projected out of the car, his face was visible as his body burned, with two other bodies inside, charred. There was a fourth person, Ghazi Al-‘Imad, thrown a few meters from the car, face down; he was shot in his lower limbs, and was bleeding profusely. He begged us to help but we could not help him. Whenever we approached, the plane that had attacked the car flew down, and we feared that it would bomb us again. It was about 9 pm when I left the scene. I could not stand the situation and I was scared.” (from Attack on Wusab of 17 April 2013 (3.10))

“There were two planes that followed, and a third plane flew over to watch the scene. There was about 8 minutes between the first and second strikes. The second was more violent, the ground shook and people panicked. My companion and I were the first to arrive on the scene. We saw the car on fire and I heard one of the passengers, Ghazi, screaming. I got off the bike to help him because he was thrown a few meters but when I approached the plane came down very low and shined red lights on the ground, as if to target my location with a bomb. People in front of me screamed: ‘The plane is [descending], flee, Salim!’ I moved back and joined the front of the crowd. People were petrified with fear at the sight of the plane that flew at low altitude. I still remember…Ghazi’s cries, who implored us to rescue him, but we were unable to. For three hours we waited for the plane to disappear in order to help Ghazi. It was difficult to find a driver to take us to the clinic. All were afraid of being bombed. Finally I forced someone to drive us, but unfortunately Ghazi died.” (28-year-old eyewitness Salim from Attack on Wusab of 17 April 2013 (3.10))

To justify the use of armed drones in its fight against terrorism, the American administration pretends that it does not target anyone but important terrorists…” (from Conclusion: Who is Targeted by the Attacks? (3))

“One of the difficulties faced by human rights organizations and journalists is the lack of information regarding the individuals that are targeted. In a number of attacks, the bodies of the victims are in such a state that they cannot be identified by witnesses. In several cases, the organizations with which they were allegedly affiliated – Al-Qaeda or Ansar Al-Sharia – publish information about them, but most often almost no information is available about them, or the information from official sources is wrong. More than once a person who was declared dead in a raid turns out to be alive…” (from Conclusion: Who is Targeted by the Attacks? (3))

“Numerous witnesses and observers confirm that several of the targeted men could have been arrested and brought before a judge without difficulty…” (from Conclusion: Who is Targeted by the Attacks? (3))

“However, it seems there was the political will to physically [eliminate] the escaped prisoners [from a 2011 jailbreak] who were suspected of belonging to armed groups, regardless of the actual facts of their case. The authorities [falsely] claimed that all were members of Al-Qaeda to justify their targeted assassination.” (from Conclusion: Who is Targeted by the Attacks? (3))

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, July 7, 2013
2:02 a.m.

Published in: on July 7, 2013 at 2:02 am  Comments (5)  

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  1. […] heartless drone program against hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan; the longterm, fruitless mass surveillance of American Muslims by the […]

  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. […] 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 16-year-old […]

  5. […] are so many examples to highlight but one sticks out more than the rest: Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American […]

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