Al Jazeera & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters – 2017-04-06 00:40:05
Yakla Residents Speak of US Raid that Killed Civilians
Locals say a US raid in Bayda province last month killed 16 civilians, including women and children
(February 7, 2017) — Residents of Yakla, an impoverished Yemeni town that was targeted last month in the first US military raid in the country authorized by President Donald Trump, have said more than a dozen civilians were killed in the botched operation.
Locals told Al Jazeera that at least 16 civilians, including women and children, were killed in the raid in Bayda province that also resulted in the death of one US commando and injured three others.
The Pentagon said the raid, which included helicopter gunships and armed Reaper drones, targeted al-Qaeda leaders. But local journalist Mujahid al-Selalee said Abdulraouf al-Dhahab, a tribal leader whose house was attacked in the raid, had repeatedly denied being a member of the armed group.
“He [Dhahab] made clear on numerous occasions that he has no ties with al-Qaeda. He denied that over and over and we know that based on those living with him,” Selalee told Al Jazeera. “One of his brothers was associated with al-Qaeda, but he was killed by a drone a while back.”
Al-Qaeda mourned Dhahab’s death, calling him a “holy warrior,” and vowed to avenge him and other slain fighters.
In an initial statement, the Pentagon said it killed 14 members of al-Qaeda, but soon released a second statement admitting that the raid “likely” killed civilians as well.
Nora al-Awlaki, an 8-year-old American girl, was among the children killed in Trump’s disastrous Yemen raid
Nora, the eight-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Yemeni preacher who was killed in a 2011 drone attack, was among the victims, family members said. Her grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, a former minister of agriculture, said: “She was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours.” He told reporters that she was visiting her mother when the raid took place.
Residents of the town said that several children were orphaned as a result of the attack. “These kids, they lost their parents for no reason,” a resident who requested not to be named told Al Jazeera. “Their mother was killed and now I am taking care of these boys and girls.” Another resident said “whole families were wiped out” by the raid.
Al-Qaeda has exploited Yemen’s two-year civil war that pits Shia Houthi fighters against the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and has carried out assassinations and bombings, mostly in areas across the south.
The US has stepped up its use of drone strikes in recent years and, while it acknowledges some of them, it generally declines to comment on specific attacks.
Nine Young Children Killed:
The full details of botched US raid in Yemen [on January 29, 2017]
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
List of Donald Trump’s Child Victims —
Ages as Given by Villagers
* Asma Fahad Ali al Ameri — 3 months
* Aisha Mohammed Abdallah al Ameri — 4 years
* Halima Hussein al Aifa al Ameri — 5 years
* Hussein Mohammed Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri — 5 years
* Mursil Abedraboh Masad al Ameri — 6 years
* Khadija Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri — 7 years
* Nawar Anwar al Awlaqi — 8 years
* Ahmed Abdelilah Ahmed al Dahab — 11 years
* Nasser Abdallah Ahmed al Dahab — 12 years
US-backed Saudi Plane Strike Hits Yemen Mourners,
Killing 9 Women, 1 Child: Residents
Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters
(February 16, 2017) — Warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition struck a house north of Yemen’s capital where a crowd of mourners was gathered, residents said on Thursday, killing nine women and a child and injuring dozens. The Saudi-led coalition said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties in the area.
The air strike hit the house of a local tribal leader in Ashira, a village north of Sanaa, on Wednesday night, a resident told Reuters. Mourners had gathered there to offer condolences after a woman died.
“People heard the sound of planes and started running from the house but then the bombs hit the house directly. The roof collapsed. Blood was everywhere,” a second resident of Ashira, who gave his name as Hamid Ali, told a Reuters cameraman.
Pictures published by local media showed tribesmen searching through the rubble of a destroyed house said to belong to Mohammed al-Nakaya, a tribal leader allied with Yemen’s Houthi movement.
One showed a man kneeling in the dust cradling the body of an elderly woman. It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the pictures.
“We are aware of media reports that Houthi rebels are claiming that Yemeni civilians were killed in an air raid overnight near Sanaa,” the coalition said in statement. “There has been fighting between Yemeni armed forces and rebels in this area in recent days. We are investigating the reports.”
In October, the alliance of mainly Gulf Arab states was heavily criticized after launching an air strike on a funeral gathering in Sanaa that killed 140 people, according to one UN estimate.
The death toll from that strike was one of the highest in any single incident since the alliance began military operations in March 2015 to try to restore the administration of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who the Houthis ousted.
The White House said at the time it might consider cutting its support to the Saudi-led campaign which has been providing air support for Hadi’s forces in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions.
The alliance, which says it does not target civilians, blamed the October funeral attack on incorrect information it said it received from the Yemeni military that armed Houthi leaders were in the area.
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