WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A new report by a British nongovernmental organization (NGO) has found that in Yemen, the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency were by far the most violent of the past three U.S. administrations, and might have totaled more operations than his two predecessors combined.
In the weeks after Trump took office in January 2017, he vastly accelerated the U.S. war in Yemen, which was allegedly part of a larger, global fight against al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups. Despite the Pentagon’s strategic shift toward "great power confrontation” with Russia and China in the years since, the U.S. war in Yemen has continued unabated, and the scale possibly exceeds both the years of former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama combined.
Airwars, an NGO connected to the University of London, has issued a damning new report revealing the scope of the war, waged by the world’s wealthiest country against one of its poorest.
"This new Airwars dataset and analysis, published on the eve of the 2020 presidential election, sheds fresh light on the most recent period of U.S. direct action in Yemen, the term in office of President Donald Trump - a period in which the Executive has sought to portray itself as reducing U.S. military involvement abroad; but has also significantly reduced both the restrictions imposed on, and transparency for, direct action in Yemen and elsewhere,” the researchers say in the report.
According to their report, under Trump, the U.S. has carried out some 230 alleged and declared "kinetic actions” in Yemen, including both airstrikes and ground raids by U.S. troops. Forty of those have allegations of civilian harm, including the deaths of between 86 and 154 civilians. A shocking 40% of those alleged deaths are associated with ground raids, even though they account for between 1.5% and 3% of U.S. operations in Yemen.
By comparison, between 2002 and 2017, the U.S. carried out roughly 150 operations in Yemen, although Airwars notes it’s possible some CIA operations from that time remain unknown.
The U.S. war in Yemen purportedly against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken place under the auspices of the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. Like several other locations around the globe, including Somalia, Libya and Pakistan, the U.S. actions in Yemen were undeclared wars, a front of the War on Terror where Washington’s commitment to following international rules of war became fuzzy at best.