The first drone strikes under Trump’s watch occurred last weekend in the city of al-Bayda in Yemen.
The Pentagon recently confirmed that it launched three separate drone strikes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen; specifically, al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch known as ‘al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula’ (AQAP).
“AQAP remains a significant threat to the region and the United States. Al-Qaeda’s presence has a destabilizing effect on Yemen and it’s using the unrest in Yemen to provide a haven from which to plan future attacks against the U.S. and its interests,” stated Navy Captain Jeff Davis in a press briefing on Monday.
The drone strikes reportedly killed five al-Qaeda operatives in central Yemen. Reports regarding civilian casualties have yet to surface.
Studies have shown that nearly 90% of U.S. drone strike victims are not the intended target. Former drone pilot veterans have gone on record to state that these drone strikes are “aiding terrorist recruitment,” thus undermining the program’s intended goal of eliminating such threats. These whistle-blowers have witnessed drone operators regularly referring to children as “fun-sized terrorists,” and likening killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long.”
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen have killed a total of 848 people, including over 100 children, and injuring 132 civilians. Drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 2,499 and 4,001 people, including 207 children, and injuring 1,744 civilians. Drone strikes have killed between 2,276 and 2,998 people in Afghanistan, including 181 children, injuring 339 civilians.