US terror drone strikes kill 31 in 72 hours

US terror drones and attack helicopters have killed 31 people in Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan over the course of 72 hours.
drone firing missile

A non-UN sanctioned US assassination drone strike in the southern Yemeni province of Bayda left seven people dead on Monday. The drone fired missiles on a convoy of three cars near the town of Radda, 160 kilometers south of the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

A local official said the target of the strike was al-Qaeda’s leader in Bayda province, Qaed al-Dahab, and his brother, both of whom escaped uninjured.

Also on Monday, two separate US drone attacks killed at least twelve people in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area, which borders Afghanistan.

Both airstrikes took place near Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.

The first attack happened early in the morning in the town of Hassokhel, 25 kilometers east of Miranshah. A Pakistani security official said US drones fired four missiles at a compound, leaving eight people dead.

The second attack, late in the evening, targeted a vehicle in the Datta Khel district, 30 kilometers west of Miranshah, and killed four people.

Monday’s second airstrike was the fifth attack on North Waziristan since Wednesday. The five non-UN sanctioned US assassination drone strikes left 31 people dead in Pakistan — five on Wednesday, ten on Thursday, four on Saturday, and twelve on Monday.

In Afghanistan, US attack helicopters launched an airstrike that wiped out an entire family.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province said Mohammad Shafi, his wife, and their six children died in an airstrike late on Saturday in the village of Suri Khail in the Gurda Saria district.

“Shafi was not a Taliban. He was not in any opposition group against the government. He was a villager,” the official said. “Right now, we are working on this case to find out the ages of their children and how many of them are boys and girls.”

The US is conducting airstrikes with warplanes, attack helicopters, and drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks. The UN has called the US drone attacks targeted killings that flout international law.

On January 31, President Barack Obama confirmed that the US uses the unmanned drones in Pakistan and other countries.

In reply to questions about the use of the assassination drones by his administration in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube, the US president said, “a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA” — Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.