Alleged drone victim Mohamed Tuaiman (age 12) 25th Jan 2014, Yemen
Today Monday 25th January 2014, Reuters news agency reported that, “a suspected U.S. drone strike on a car in eastern Yemen killed three men believed to be al Qaeda militants.” The “targeted killing” in Marib province was the first since the departure of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Thursday who took the decision to resign when Houthi rebels seized the Republican palace.
President Barak Obama signalled to CNN on Sunday that the drone programme aimed at Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) is set to continue, stating, “taking militants out with drones isn’t simple, but it’s the best strategy available to eliminate the threat of terrorists in Yemen and U.S.”
Noam Chomsky (American linguist, philosopher and political commentator) has a rather different opinion, he was reported in Salon describing the US drone programme as,
“the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times – if not ever….aimed at murdering people who are suspected of maybe someday planning to harm us…. I’d advise you to read some of the transcripts with drone operators. They’re harrowing — the guys who are sitting in front of computers in Las Vegas.”
On twitter the first indication of today’s drone strike victims came in a tweet from Atiaf Al Wazir (see Women from Yemen blogspot http://womanfromyemen.blogspot.co.uk/ ) who stated that, “according to National Organization for Victims of Drones, 12 yr old Mohamed Tuaiman was killed in Marib today by a drone in Yemen.” Yemeni lawyer Haykal Bafana questioned if this was why the US embassy in Sanaa was suddenly shut down and tweeted, “in any case, the US could not have picked a worse tribe in Yemen to kill a boy from – Al Tuaiman tribe have zero anger management skills.”
Baraa Shiban who works with Reprieve human rights organization tweeted the following,
“The US today killed a 12 years old child in Mareb, only one day after Obama’s speech on counter terrorism efforts in Yemen”
“3 people were killed in the drone strike today in Mareb Yemen”
“One of the dead is Moh Tuaiman, born in 2001, AKA “Child”, was at his 6th Primary class Yemen”
“His 14 years old brother was killed in a drone strike in 2011 Yemen”
“What was he doing there? That’s not a question, nor an excuse to kill a child Yemen”
The National Organization for Drone Victims (Yemen) also made comment and released several photos of a drone strike which appeared to be from today’s attack.
Devastation allegedly from today’s drone strike
Main points summarized from the National Organization for Drone Victims (NODV)
The National Organization for Drone Victims have just released a statement on todays drone strike on their Facebook page. They condemned the US attack which allegedly killed a child in Marib which already killed his father and brother in similar raids. The attack was carried out by unmanned aircraft in Harib the province of Marib, on Monday, January 26, 2015 afternoon, the target vehicle type Vitara. The strike killed three people, including a child, Mohammed Saleh Kaid Taaman, aged 12 years, taught in the sixth grade primary.
The President of the National Organization for Drone Victims, Aldrunz Mohammed Alquaola said it was regrettable that the attack, which claimed the lives of three Yemeni nationals, including a child, came one day after the announcement of President Barack Obama’s continuation of his country’s war against the law in Yemen, under the pretext of the fight against “terrorism”. This comes despite the state of chaos and violence and the constitutional vacuum witnessed by the country, confirming US indifference to the suffering of Yemenis and failure to take into account the circumstances they are going through.
The organization has learned that one of the victims was named Abdullah Khalid Aziz al-Zindani, married to Al Taaman, and works on a farm in Marib province. The American attack caused widespread anger among the tribes of Al Taaman and other tribes who decided to meet this evening to protest against this crime and take the appropriate position on this issue.
The NODV mention an earlier drone strike in 2011 where a man named Mohammed Kaid Taaman was killed along with one of his sons, named Jalal, 16 years old and the injury of a family member named Izz al-Din, 17 years old who survived miraculously but is still suffering from shrapnel in his body.
NODV state that with the death of Mohammed, the Taaman family lost the only breadwinner and two of his sons and a third has been injured in raids. This is a large family consisting of 11 brother and 14 sisters who do not have any source of income only a camel boy.
They also said that some persons have traveled days to the capital Sanaa to meet with government officials and demand that the state compensate and provide treatment as with other victims.
NODV Aldrunz stated that they condemned in the strongest terms the continuation of the United States in violation of the law and practice of punishment outside the law by these bloody attacks which affect entire communities. They emphasized that drone strikes do not exclude children. NODV appeal to all the free world to stand by these victims, not to silence them and to work to stop these crimes that undermine the principles of law, justice and peace and only increase the hotbeds of tension, conflict and chaos in Yemen.
Boy circled appears to be one of the alleged victims of US drone strike
Meanwhile CNN reported closure of the US Embassy in Sana until further notice,
“due to the recent resignation of the Yemeni president, prime minister, and cabinet, and the ongoing security concerns, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa is unable to provide routine consular services and will have very limited ability to assist with emergency cases involving U.S. citizens.
The U.S. Embassy will be closed to the public until further notice out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting the Embassy. We are continuously analyzing the security conditions and will resume consular operations as soon as our analysis indicates we are able to do so safely.”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.