In an opinion piece published on Tuesday in the Washington Post, Human Rights Minister Hooriah Mashour expressed her opposition of US-led drone attacks in Yemen by denouncing the ruins they leave in their trail.
An activist at heart and a fierce advocate for human dignity and Yemen’ s national sovereignty, Minister Mashour has long denounced Washington anti-terror policy in Yemen, having warned in many instances that drones would only generate more hatred and trauma than they are worth. In line with security experts and analysts, Minister Mashour would rather see the government implement a strategy which seeks to uproot Islamic radicalism at its base, through educational program and awareness campaigns than bomb civilian communities on the off chance that militants might happen to be present.
After December 12th astronomical miss, Minister Mashour chose to speak out on behalf of the Yemen, hoping that on some level, the greater public will stop associating Yemenis with terrorism and emphasize instead with its people’s tragic losses.
Weeks after a US drone mistaken a wedding convoy for al-Qaeda militants, Yemen’s outrage still echoes across all provinces. Keen to highlight the sheer magnitude of Washington’s miss, the minister wrote, “December 12 was supposed to be a day of celebration for the al-Ameri family. A young bride traveled to her wedding with her relatives in Bayda province, Yemen. But in a few dark seconds their celebrations were eviscerated.”
She added, “The strike is said to have killed at least 14 civilians and injured 22 others, over a third of them seriously. This marks the largest death toll by a drone strike in Yemen since the drone war’s inception. It is also the largest death toll by U.S. strike since December 2009, when a U.S. cruise missile killed 41 civilians in al-Majala, including 14 women and 21 children.”
A voice among many, Minister Mashour’s message is simple: drones as per noted by Jeremy Scahill and most recently by Nabeel Khoury, former U.S. deputy chief of mission to Yemen, drones only serve al-Qaeda.