As an American citizen residing in Yemen I here give my condolences to the loved ones of innocent women and children killed in Yemen by misdirected US drone strikes in 2012.
The country narrowly escaped a civil war in 2011 and all expected a safer 2012. That was not the case with drones mostly to blame.
Throughout the year, al-Qaeda gunmen killed at least 74 Yemeni security/intelligence officials.
2012 was no doubt bloody and Yemen lost some of its top security personnel’s who played a major role in the country’s war on terror.
On average, with every US drone strike in Yemen one security/intelligence/military official is assassinated. Nearly all those killed were involved in Yemen’s counter terror efforts.
Yemen (with the help of the United States) failed to defeat al-Qaeda in 2012 though it claims to have seriously handicapped the network.
We need to admit that Yemen is not safer today. The same can be said for Afghanistan where after ten years of US attacks, not a single city there can be considered safe. Iraq is another example for disbelievers.
Its time to finally realize that drones is not helping the United States defeat its enemies.
With every misdirected strike and the death of civilians al-Qaeda recruits even more fighters. Yemen could be used as a perfect example. Back in 2008 only hundreds al-Qaeda fighters were in Yemen. Today there are thousands of sympathizers of al-Qaeda in Yemen and again thanks to the drones.
We need to admit failure and change our tactics to avoid another Afghanistan misery.
With that said, let’s hope for a happier and safer 2013, even for Yemenis…
Hakim Almasmari is an American journalist and Middle East expert based in Sana'a, Yemen. His work has appeared for many of the worlds top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Washington Post, AlJazeera, Fox News, The Guardian, The National, USA Today among numerous others. He has also worked with some of the world’s top organizations. Reporting out of Yemen for nearly eight years, he is the current editor in chief for the Yemen Post. He is a university lecturer in the field of international media and also studied business and law. Considered one of the top experts on Yemen, Almasmari has closely worked with international strategic centers and think tanks helping them better understand Yemen. He is a frequent guest on many international TV outlets discussing current local and international affairs. Almasmari is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and speaks English and Arabic.