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American airstrikes in Yemen kill more civilians than terrorists – HRW report

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Tuesday October 22, 2013 13:41author by Turing Report this post to the editors

A new report by Human Rights Watch once again confirms that Hellfire rockets lack selectivity and exterminate women and children more often than they hit Al-Qaeda associates. Last month the UN urged the US to reveal data on civilian drone casualties.

The prominent human rights organization has released a detailed 102-page report on the US drone attacks and airstrikes in Yemen against militants of the Al-Qaeda wing in the country simultaneously with another human rights organization Amnesty International issuing a report on US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Basically, the HRW report has maintained an already widely-known fact that civilians die too often in reported ‘surgical’ strikes which is unacceptable even by the ‘law of war. ...

People gather at the site of a drone strike on the road between Yafe and Radfan districts of the southern Yemeni province of Lahj August 11, 2013. (Reuters)
People gather at the site of a drone strike on the road between Yafe and Radfan districts of the southern Yemeni province of Lahj August 11, 2013. (Reuters)

The full report is at:

The deadliest of those airstrikes that came into the HRW’s spotlight was probably not the work of drones at all. It occurred in a village of Al-Majalah on December 17, 2009, where alleged US Navy cruise missiles (too big to be fired from a UAV) dropped cluster bombs on a Bedouin village, killing 14 alleged militants along with 41 civilians, including nine women and 21 children. Only five people survived.

“I have a question for America: Despite having drones and spy planes and all of this technology, can’t America differentiate between a terrorist and an innocent civilian?” told the HRW Moqbil Muhammad Ali, who lost 28 relatives in the attack on Al-Majalah village.

So far American strikes to eliminate militants have practically always been accompanied by civilian casualties, despite President Barack Obama promising to avoid them. ...

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