Written By: Yemen Observer Staff
Article Date: Oct 1, 2012 - 7:16:07 PM
President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi said that he personally approves every US drone strike in Yemen.
Yemen President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi aknowledged approval of US drone strikes in Yemen
“Every operation, before taking place, they take permission from the president,” Hadi said in an interview with The Washington Post, he went on to say “The drone technologically is more advanced than the human brain” in praise of the drone’s accuracy.
The frequency of US drone strikes has risen sharply since the terrorist group gained territory during the revolution and President Hadi’s instatement into office.
The US Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA have carried out 33 airstrikes in Yemen in 2012 and only 10 in 2011, according to the Long War Journal web site.
In the interview, Hadi alluded to civilian casualties and errant strikes earlier in the campaign, which began in December 2009, but he said that the United States and Yemen have taken “multiple measures to avoid mistakes of the past.”
He also described a joint operations facility near Sanaa, the capital, that serves as an intelligence nerve center for operations against AQAP, as the terrorist group’s Yemeni affiliate is known. “You go to the operations center and see operations taking place step by step,” Hadi said.
AQAP exploited political chaos in Yemen in the past year, seizing territory in southern provinces and control of several cities, including Jaar and Zinjibar.
Hadi said that the Yemeni military’s recovery of that southern territory marks “the beginning of the total defeat of al-Qaeda on the Peninsula” and that foreign AQAP fighters have fled to other countries including Mali and Mauritania.
Hadi emphasized that the toll in Yemen goes beyond the country’s casualties in its fight against al-Qaeda.
He said the country has seen dozens of oil exploration companies abandon projects in Yemen and that tourism has evaporated, exacerbating the country’s economic problems. U.S. Special Operations drones patrol Yemen from a base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. The CIA aircraft are flown from a separate facility on the Arabian Peninsula whose location has not been publicly disclosed.
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