First Drone Strikes: Can Trump Write off Yemen This Time?
To substantiate: A pair of US drone strikes in Yemen’s Bayda Province have killed at least 10 people over the weekend, according to Yemeni officials, marking the first drone strikes to be conducted under President Trump, who was inaugurated on Friday.
Washington claims the drone strikes killed Al-Qaeda operatives. Washington also claims the Trump administration has not yet laid out a clear policy on the war or the drone strikes. This is far from the truth. On the same day, a school just outside Sana’a was also hit by a Saudi-led, US-backed coalition airstrike. Four American-made missiles hit the Guards School building north of the capital.
A reminder that the US is still increasingly embroiled in Yemen, targeting the Ansarullah movement on the pretext of fighting Al-Qaeda. The War Party provides the bombs and the refueling planes in mid-air. American forces also provide the intel. Indeed, this bombing campaign could not happen without the United States. It is wild to say the new US administration is not at war in Yemen today. The Sunday drone strikes left no doubt about it.
At this time though, our concerns might seem inflated, even outlandish. But in light of the recent developments, they appear ever more prescient; that under Trump and in the absence of a negotiated settlement, Yemen is poised to spiral further into chaos, in which more civilians will be killed and more civilian infrastructure will be hit.
For this, the new president of the United States and his team have already joined in the ongoing war against the poorest country in the Middle East. They have joined in the Saudi-led blockade along with support ships, cargo ships, special forces and predatory drones.
This is while the predatory imperial offensive is illegal, indeed criminal under International Law. The criminal hordes have no right to interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs; they have no case for self-defense; they hit civilian structure which has no military value; and they have the thinnest of pretexts.
By giving the go-ahead to the first drone strikes, President Trump has clearly decided to join the offensive to make sure Yemen will continue to bleed and “Iran” won’t be able to get Yemen! He has made it clear that his administration will be contributing to the destruction and in the service of the war – although it’s not risk-free and there are questions about the wisdom of his backing for the military campaign.
Nor is that all. The clueless Trump has babbled about Iran that, “They get Syria, they get Yemen. Now they didn’t want Yemen, but you ever see the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia? They want Saudi Arabia. They’re gonna have Iraq, they’re gonna have Yemen, they’re gonna have Syria, they’re gonna have everything!”
This is rubbish. It shows just how little Trump knows about foreign policy. Iran isn’t “going” into Yemen at all. This is a crude, simplified version of Saudi interventionist propaganda. Far from “going into Yemen,” Iran has repeatedly asked for political talks, saying the only way out of the crisis is dialogue which is falling into deaf ears once again.
Which leads us to the conclusion that if President Trump decides to join the failed war on Yemen with full force, he will let Obama off the hook for one of the worst foreign policy blunders of his presidency. To this end, he will regurgitate Saudi talking points that “Iran is on the march” and that “Iran is taking over the region.”
These false and misleading claims might bring more misery to the long-suffering people of Yemen, but they won’t be able to help Trump write off Yemen just yet; they are the fighters of Arabia.