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

[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.]

“The [Yemeni] population [in the province of Hadramout] has been terrorised by the drones that incessantly surveilled their villages at all times of the day, and expected to be attacked since other places had suffered the same fate. The inhabitants of the region regularly protested, organised demonstrations, and lodged complaints with the President of the Republic, all in vain.” (from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

“…on 28 August 2012 around 9.30 pm, four missiles were fired from a drone, killing at least five men…Among the dead is Salem Ben Ahmed ben Salem Ali Jaber… in his forties, and the father of seven children…a teacher and imam at the Al-Mutadharirin mosque in Al-Mukalla…enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Hadramout, and…known for his ideas opposing Al-Qaeda. Several days before his death, during his sermon, he urged his compatriots not to be swayed by that organization. He had no relations with any armed groups. That day, however, he was to meet with suspected members of Al-Qaeda who had criticized him for his stance. He went to the meeting place with a companion, a 26-year-old police officer Walid Abdallah Abdelhamud Ben Ali Jaber…the father of a child. He also did not have any relations with armed groups.” (from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

“I saw a missile on its way to the men. Shortly after that, a second missile struck nearby. The fifth man got out of the car quickly and ran towards the village. A missile followed him and hit him directly, it was not far from the houses that were damaged by bomb fragments. A fourth missile hit the car. Women and children immediately started screaming. In shock, several women subsequently miscarried. Animals died, and the bodies of all those who died were disintegrated and scattered over a large area.” (eyewitness Abu ‘Issa Rajab Khamis Ba Rif’at from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

“A crowd had formed to help the victims. All they could do was gather the shredded remains of humans and animals that they initially placed under an air conditioner.” (from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

Ahmed Ben Salem Saleh Ben Ali Jaber remembers: ‘I had told them that there were too many bodies and it was better to use a freezer.'” (The father of murdered Sheikh Salem, a teacher, who also noted that the equally heartbroken mother of his son, Um Salem, died six weeks after he was killed by a drone from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

“A body had been flung 30 metres, a second 10 metres, and two others two and a half metres away. They were all exploded, and we could not identify them, their limbs ripped apart. Since night was falling, the residents were not able to find all of the body parts, and it was not until the next day that they were all reassembled. Only one face was still recognizable, the other four were not. There were also animals that had been killed and dismembered. Only two bodies could be identified. Several children were brought to the hospital due to their state of shock and panic. We asked ourselves why these bombings had happened, when it would have been possible to arrest the suspects.”  (Dr. Abdallah Jaber from Khashamir (Hadramout) on 29 August 2012 (2.5))

“The drone attack of 2 September took place outside of Wadi Rabi’…missed its target [the car of Abderraouf Al-Dhahab, brother of emir [S]heikh Qayid Ahmed Al-Dhahab of the Ansar Al-Sharia group] hitting a car transporting 14 civilians instead, among them women and childrenEleven were killed in the strike, their bodies burned. The other three were injured and one of them died several weeks later while in a hospital in Cairo. There were 11 injuries among pedestrians on the scene.” (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“The Yemeni authorities quickly asserted that they had carried out the bombing…They declared that they had made an error and the other car was hit due to its proximity to the target. Yemeni officials themselves have conversely acknowledged the missiles came from a U.S. aircraft. Later, U.S. authorities finally confirmed for the first time their responsibility in this attack.” (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“…[during] a press conference on 5 September 2012…the families of the victims of this attack…testified that the region had been regularly surveilled by drones for more than a year, and that these observation missions had continued after the massacre. They denied that there had been another vehicle nearby which was hit. The driver of the car, Nasser Mabkhut Al-Sabuli Al-Sabuli…aged 45, survived the attack and remembers seeing a plane flying over, but had no reason to believe that it would strike the car since it was only carrying civilians. He remembers a deluge of fire, burning bodies near him, and losing consciousness. To this day he is haunted by the memory of the bodies on fire.” (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“…three of the victims survived with second degree burns while the other victims arrived in the hospital in such a state that they could only be identified by their families through their personal belongings.” (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“…we saw two airplanes; one of them approached and launched a missile at us. We were thrown from the car and several of us were still alive and trying to flee when the plane fired another missile to kill those who were still alive. Smoke and gas enveloped us on all sides and our bodies were burning…The airplane approached many of us, and it is certain that the pilot could see us and knew that we were civilians, including women and children.” (Two anonymous eyewitness accounts from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“Among those who died was a 13-year-old boy named Mabrouk Muqbil Al-Daqari‘his grandfather loved him most of all, and to this day we have not been able to tell him of his death.'” (last quote from Mabrouk’s unnamed father from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

Eight-year-old Dawla Al-Sabuli…died in the attack with her father and mother while returning from a doctor’s visit…this little girl with her arms wide open…was hugging her mother at the moment of the strike and that she had died in this position. It was only with great difficulty that they were able to separate the two bodies. (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“To this day, no investigation has been conducted by the prosecutor to establish responsibility for the crime.” (from Radaa (Al-Baydha) on 2 September 2012 (2.6))

“The family [of Nabil Al-Kaladi, an escaped prisoner who was wrongly detained without charges or trial for 5 years before being killed by an American drone in a “local sports stadium”] was able to identify the half of the body that had not disintegrated in the explosion.” (from Al-Shihr (Hadramout) on 24 December 2012 (2.7))

“That day in the stadium, it was not only suspects who were targeted, but also children who were injured and traumatized. One of them is Hamza Hussein Said Ben Dahmanaged 16…” (from Al-Shihr (Hadramout) on 24 December 2012 (2.7))

“My son was in the stadium [to play football] when a U.S. drone targeted a group of people. Hamza returned to the house in a total state of depression. His whole body shook…he had seen people torn and bloodied…he said that U.S. aircraft had carried out the bombing. He put his hand to his throat and he was seized with a nervous breakdown and the inability to breathe. Then he lost consciousness. We brought him to the hospital. His condition worsened and he lost his speech. Previously, he was healthy and now he is sick simply because he is a Yemeni boy in a state that has no regard for its citizens. I sold everything I had to get him medical treatment. My wife sold all her jewelry and I had to borrow large sums of money, to go to Cairo [because Yemeni doctors couldn’t identify his illness]…It was found that my son had a brain injury and could not move. I spent 20 days with him in Cairo and then I had to return home with no money. What happened to my son is the responsibility of the U.S. and Yemeni governments and I ask that they treat him and compensate our family. We now live in fear that he might die, and we fear that he is handicapped for life. I also fear that his mother might become ill due to the state of her son. States and the international community must help us.” (Hamza’s father, Hussein Said Abdallah Ben Dahman, from Al-Shihr (Hadramout) on 24 December 2012 (2.7))

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, July 7, 2013
1:46 a.m.

Published in: on July 7, 2013 at 1:46 am  Comments (4)  

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  1. […] regarding President Obama’s ongoing, 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 […]

  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. […] 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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