A missile strike on December 17 in Yemen last year that killed 41 people including 21 children and 14 women was most likely the result of a US cruise missile strike — an opening shot in a US military campaign that began without notice and has never been officially confirmed.
Amnesty International says it has obtained photographs apparently showing the remnants of missiles known to be held only by U.S. forces at the site of the air strike against al Qaeda suspects.
“The Yemeni authorities have a duty to ensure public safety and to bring to justice those engaged in attacks that deliberately target members of the public, but when doing so they must abide by international law,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme. “Enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, and extrajudicial executions are never permissible, and the Yemeni authorities must immediately cease these violations.”
“It is particularly worrying that states such as Saudi Arabia and the USA are directly or indirectly aiding the Yemeni government in a downward spiral away from previously improving human rights record.”
The Washington Post now reports that the CIA is likely to have a larger role in President Obama’s expanding war in Yemen.
Proponents of expanding the CIA’s role argue that years of flying armed drones over Pakistan have given the agency expertise in identifying targets and delivering pinpoint strikes. The agency’s attacks also leave fewer telltale signs.
“You’re not going to find bomb parts with USA markings on them,” the senior U.S. official said.