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Entries in Yemen (316)


US War on Terror Feature: Obama Seeks a "Formal Rule Book" for Drone Attacks

Aftermath of US Drone Strike in AfghanistanFacing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Damascus Shakes as Assad Regime Wobbles

2114 GMT: Syria. Markito0171 posts an interesting video, reportedly taken yesterday, showing an FSA rocket attack on an airforce intelligence building in Aleppo (map):

As you can see from the screenshot of Google maps, the video matches the satellite images:

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Yemen Feature: How A Country Was Lost in Obama's "War Laboratory" (Johnsen)

Photo: ReutersIn the final presidential debate, more than 11 years after the Bush administration launched its global war on terror, President Barack Obama identified "terrorist networks" as the gravest national security threat facing America. But Yemen, which is home to the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate, has attracted precious little attention from either of the candidates in this election.

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Yemen 1st-Hand: "Government Is Not Strong, But People Are Not Liberated" (Fielding-Smith)

At a protest in Aden, a young man holds the flag of the Southern Movement and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen

In the space of 30 years, Aden has been a British colony, the capital of a Soviet-backed independent republic, part of a new united Yemen, and the headquarters of a shortlived breakaway state, before being over-run and looted by the unity government’s forces. Residents say the wildly volatile state of limbo they have been in for the past year and a half is more alarming than anything they’ve experienced before.

“The government is not strong, but the people are not liberated,” said Mohamed Ali Ahmed, who recently returned after nearly three decades away and is a veteran of the south’s breakaway war. “It’s a kind of chaos --- no one is controlling anything.”

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Yemen Opinion: Questioning Washington's Model of Drones and Permanent War (Johnsen)

Al Jazeera English's Inside Story asks, "Are US Drone Strikes A War Crime?"

1. Despite the US bombing campaign in Yemen, which has been partially designed to keep Al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula on its heels so that it can't plot attacks against the US, the organization is still actively plotting and attempting to launch new attacks;

2. The more recruits AQAP gains the bigger of a talent pool it has upon which to draw.

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Yemen Feature: The Al Qa'eda Leader Who Came Back from the Dead (Lister/Almasmari)

Abu Sufyan Said al-Shihri Abu Sufyan Said al-Shihri was --- or is --- the second most senior figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Last month, the Yemeni Defense Ministry announced al-Shihri had been killed "in an operation" in the Hadramawt Valley, a stronghold of AQAP in the south of the country.

But al-Shihri appears to have resurfaced with a defiant audio message.

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Pakistan to Yemen to North Africa Feature: The CIA Seeks More Drones

Protest in Pakistan earlier this month against US drone strikes

The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.

The proposal by CIA Director David H. Petraeus would bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots, officials said.

If approved, the CIA could add as many as 10 drones, the officials said, to an inventory that has ranged between 30 and 35 over the past few years.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 44 Dead in Airstrike on Ma'arat al-Numan

2250 GMT: Syria. We have to end today's coverage, and we will continue it tomorrow, but it has been a terrible day - in Lebanon, but even more so in Syria.

Still, if two words could summarize the spirit of the Syrian opposition, they might be "brave defiance." Today, despite the shells and gunshots, falling bombs, tanks, and massacres, people still protested.

This video was taken today in Douma, a major suburb of Damascus - the protesters brought the remnants of a cluster bomb to the streets:

But just a few miles away, in the Damascus suburb of Saqba, civilians try to dig their friends and family out of the rubble as shells land and buildings collapse:

Bravery, defiance, and death...

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Renewed Shelling of Homs

Claimed footage of shelling of the Khalidiya section of Homs in Syria this morning

See also Syria 1st-Hand: Who are the Al-Farouq Brigades?
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Anticipating A Friday of Protests and Clashes

1900 GMT: Israel. The Israeli air force shot down a drone after it crossed into southern Israel on Saturday, military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said on Saturday.

It is unclear who despatched the aircraft, first spotted above the Mediterranean Sea in the area of the Gaza Strip to the west of Israel.

The drone was followed by Israeli air force jets, travelling east about 35 miles across Israel's southern Negev desert, before it was shot down in an unpopulated area near the border with the occupied West Bank about 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: And So Another Week of Killing....

2100 GMT: Syria. Meanwhile, the daily death toll is Syria has reached at least 164, according to the Local Coordination Committees:

52 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs (including 13 in Douma and 10 in Harasta), 42 in Idlib (30 of them were martyred in a massacre in Seqlein), 41 in Aleppo (including 11 martyrs in Masaken Hanano, and 12 in Karm Al-Jabal), 20 in Daraa, 4 in Homs, 2 in Deir Ezzor, 2 in Hama and 1 in Lattakia.

See our note on the casualty figures put forth by the LCC.

2025 GMT: Syria. The newest information:

Now we know a little more about this video. It was originally posted on September 26th, but it was posted under a different description. The old description was "the American Journalist الصحفي الاميركي" but the new one is "Austin Tice still alive":

It was discovered on the 26th by an opposition Facebook page, but was shared without comment as to who is responsible for the kidnapping:

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