Yemeni parliament votes to ban US drone attacks

Yemeni parliament votes to ban US drone attacks
Mon Dec 16, 2013 08:52:04

Yemeni parliament has banned US assassination drone strikes inside the Arab country to prevent more civilians getting killed.

"Lawmakers have voted to ban drone strikes in Yemen," the official Saba news agency reported after the parliament held a session on Sunday.

The legislators stressed "the importance of protecting all citizens from any aggression" and "the importance of preserving the sovereignty of Yemeni air space," Saba said.

On Thursday, a US drone fired several missiles into a convoy of vehicles traveling to a wedding party in central Yemen, killing at least 17 people.

The strike triggered protests across Yemen. Relatives of the people killed in the attack blocked roads to protest against the deadly incident, calling on the government to adopt measures to halt the drone strikes. They also demanded an official apology as well as compensation.

"If the government fails to stop American planes from... bombing the people of Yemen, then it has no rule over us," Yemeni tribal chief Ahmad al-Salmani said on Saturday.

Washington has stepped up its assassination drone operations in Yemen over the past few years.

According to the Washington-based think tank the New America Foundation, US drone attacks in the Arab country almost tripled last year, surging from 18 to 53.

US officials claim that the attacks target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned airstrikes -- which have also been launched against locations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia.

The US has come under fire for increasing its drone attacks in Yemen, where the people have held many demonstrations to condemn the violation of their national sovereignty.


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