Obama approves broader drone strikes in Yemen

Obama approves broader drone strikes in Yemen

Seattle : WA : USA | Apr 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM PDT
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'Drone attacks illegal, fuel terror' - Pakistani FM

President Barack Obama has approved a wider campaign of drone strikes in Yemen. The drone strikes would be carried out against potential terrorists linked to al-Qaeda and other militant outfits based in the volatile country. In recent months and years, Yemen has become a breeding ground for terrorists and militants - which alerted the United States. The poverty-ridden country has got meager resources to fight the well-trained and well-organized militants based in different parts of the country. Analysts believe that the Obama administration and Yemeni government have reached a clandestine understanding over the recent excessive drone strikes in the country.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been mandated to carry out drone attacks against potential terrorists linked to al-Qaeda and other outfits even if their identity is not ascertained. It means that innocent people including women and children will also become victims of the drone campaign. Otherwise, it is a general practice that sleuths of the CIA gather intelligence information from their agents on ground and then drone strikes are carried out on the bases of the information. Now as the White House is eager to expand the campaign, there are increased chances of the killings of innocent civilians as well.

Until now, the Obama administration has allowed drone strikes only against those terrorists whose location and identity were confirmed on the basis of intelligence information. However, it is yet to be seen whether the administration succeeds in obtaining the desired results or just cause increased hatred against the United States. It is pertinent to mention here that the United States has arrested a number of terrorists of Yemeni origin so far for plotting terror attacks in the country, and all of those plots were foiled successfully.

On the other hand, there are also valid concerns among the various congressmen that when innocent people would be killed in the drone strikes, they may rise up against the government or terrorists who have never been involved in plotting against the United States may get offended by the campaign and urge the people to start demonstrations against the government. There are also chances that the campaign will be a major cause of production of a new crop of militants in the country owing to the intensive drone campaign. Analysts also believe the fresh drone campaign against terrorists can also cause legal issues for the Obama administration.

The United States has also been carrying out drone strikes in the tribal region of Pakistan since 2004 - which has now proved a major impediment in improved relations between both the countries. US Special Envoy Marc Grossman is currently in Pakistan, where he has held dialogue with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to improve ties between both the countries. After the meeting, Hina Rabbani Khar said the US was not listening to Pakistan to stop drone strikes in its territory.

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Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar listens during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar listens during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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