WASHINGTON — Looks like U.S. President Barack Obama and his extensive use of drones to kill suspected Islamists is not popular in Yemen.
Reuters reported that the Yemeni parliament voted for a non-binding resolution to restrict American use of drones in their country. The vote was symbolic and will probably be struck down by the president, and such votes are seen as a suggestion to the president regarding policy.
Although it was a symbolic vote, it illustrates the discontent of Yemenis with the American drone strikes. Yemenis accuse the American government of killing innocent civilians, when the American government says they have killed Islamist, anti-government terrorists.
The Yemeni government has pressed the Obama administration to close Guantanamo Bay and release their detainees, who are mostly Yemeni nationals, back to their native countries.
The American government has used the drone strikes to combat the rising influence of an al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (known by the acronym AQAP). But, some say that these strikes have only made the group more popular among Yemenis.
The country is highly unstable with Islamist factions leading the fight in certain areas in the northern part of the country and the southern part of the country wants to secede. The country’s proximity to major oil shipping lanes ranks high on the international community’s concerns.