Voicing the People's Anger, Yemen Parliament Calls for Drone Ban

In its most assertive rebuke yet to its own president and the U.S. government, the Yemen Parliament on Sunday demanded an end to U.S. drone bombings in the country just days after a missile strike on a wedding party killed at least fifteen people and left many more wounded.

“If the government fails to stop American planes from… bombing the people of Yemen, then it has no rule over us.” —tribal chief Ahmad al-Salmani

“Members of parliament voted to stop what drones are doing in Yemeni airspace, stressing the importance of preserving innocent civilian lives against any attack and maintaining Yemeni sovereignty,” the state news agency SABA reported.

Though the nearly unanimous vote is considered “non-binding” under Yemeni law, a government official told CNN that the legislative move should be seen as “a strong warning” to Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

“The Yemeni public is angered by the drone strikes,” said the official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to talk to reporters. “The people’s representatives reflected on the tone of the streets.”

Anti-drone activists in Yemen and abroad have been joined by foreign policy experts who all agree that the U.S. drone campaign in the country is having a counter-productive and destabilizing effect.

The U.S. government has so far refused to comment on the attack or take responsibility for the civilians killed, though a statement by the Hadi’s Supreme Security Committee said the bombing targeted al-Qaeda leadership.

As Agence France-Presse reports:

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