Yemenis in Marib came together on Sunday to protest what they increasingly perceived as the United States of America's unlawful military intervention on Yemen' territorial sovereignty and the unwarranted used of drones (unmanned planes) on their land.
Ever since the US declared a high security alert in Yemen (August 3rd) following the interception of an alleged conversation in between two top al-Qaeda leaders which essentially enounced the terror group's plan to target American interests both at home and abroad, Yemen has found itself in the eye of the terror storm.
In a bid to preempt a potential terror strike against its interests and maybe in a desperate attempt to prevent a repeat of Libya's 2012 security debacle when US Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed by terror militants linked to al-Qaeda in Benghazi; a threat the US failed to see coming, the Pentagon authorized an unprecedented number of drone strikes across Yemen, nine over a two week-period.
And while both the government of Yemen and Washington have argued of the legitimacy of their anti-terror strategy, clamoring high and low that drones are the world's best chance against Islamists, and that strikes are authorized with the utmost care as to minimize fallouts on the ground; communities across Yemen which saw first hand the level of destruction brought about by drones have rose in condemnation of the central government.
Marib, which bore the brunt of America's war on terror in Yemen is ever loudly challenging Sana'a, demanding that those responsible for the death of their loved ones be taken to court and judge to the full force of the law.
Despite President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi's best efforts to legitimize US-led drone strikes in Yemen, communities in Marib (restive eastern province) and across Yemen have become hostile toward the central government, often retrenching behind their local leaders.
With Yemen only weeks away from announcing the results of the National Dialogue Conference, internal divisions could lay waste months of negotiations and political leg-work.