Saudi jets ‘join US strikes against al-Qaeda in Yemen'

Saudi Arabia said to have secretly joined America's 'undeclared aerial war' against terrorists in Yemen

LAST UPDATED AT 09:44 ON Fri 4 Jan 2013

JETS from the Saudi Arabian air force have joined US forces in missions designed to eliminate al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, raising questions about America's "expanding programme of targeted killings", reports The Times.

Covert air strikes against targets in Yemen tripled last year and outnumbered similar attacks in Pakistan for the first time. The paper says the activity is stark evidence that the US has abandoned its "kill or capture" policy and adopted targeted killings because the legal issues created by the arrest or detention of hostile combatants had become "too onerous". Yemen has become a "template" for the elimination of militant threats worldwide, it says.

The death toll from the surgical strikes by US and Saudi jets in Yemen may be as high as 228 people, the Times says. Some of the attacks which have been described as "drone strikes" are actually missions carried out by Saudi aircraft.

The US is able to operate in Yemen with relative ease because the country's president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour, is co-operative and "officially claims responsibility" for every drone strike that occurs in his territory. However, Mansour has not admitted publicly that some of the strikes are being carried out, not by the US, but the Saudis.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the branch active in Yemen, is regarded as one of the terrorist organisation's most deadly wings, says American Thinker. AQAP has offered a reward of $160,000 in gold to anyone who kills America's ambassador to Yemen or any US soldier stationed in the country.

Drone attacks in the region are continuing unabated according to reports. An AQAP commander and two fighters were killed in the central Yemen province of Baydah yesterday by the first drone strike of year, says Longwarjournal. · 

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How about first conducting targeted killings in the US - particularly, of potential mass murderers (of women and schoolchildren for example)? Why is that clean-out not in place in the homeland? Why does the US not start cleaning out its backyard first before going over to clean up the neigbouring backyard - and that too illegally without UN sanctions?

What happens when China and Russia and Venezuela and Iran and others decide that they too want to carry out their own targeted killings elsewhere in the name of "war on terrorism"? Will that be acceptable, given that the US, Israel and now Saudi Arabia have set this precedent for targeted killings in foreign territories in violation of international norms??

Every dog has his day. China's day is coming pretty soon, and the US and its "allies" had better be prepared in the future to accept China's "war on terror" with its own brand of "surgical strikes" on "terrorist targets" on foreign soil (maybe even on US national interests - everyone deserves a taste of their own medicine at some point in time) - whining and complaining to the UN by the US and its "coalition of the willing" at that point about violations of international laws will be an even bigger hypocrisy in world politics....

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