Despite denying any civilian casualties, the first U.S. drone strike and commando operation by the Trump administration in Yemen resulted in the death of several women and children, including 8-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of a U.S.-born Yemeni preacher who was killed in a drone strike by the Obama administration.
“She was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours,” the girl’s grandfather Nasser al-Awlaki, who served as a minister under a previous government, told Reuters. “Why kill children? This is the new (U.S.) administration — it’s very sad, a big crime.”
Nawar became the first U.S. citizen to be killed by the new government of Donald Trump. Her 16-year-old U.S.-born brother Abdulrahman was also killed in a drone strike just two weeks after the Obama administration ordered the assassination of their father, which the U.S. claims was a recruiter for al-Qaida.
Anwar was never charged or convicted of any crime, and former President Barack Obama suffered criticism over his killing due to him being a U.S. citizen. Obama officials later admitted that his son was not a target and that he was “collateral damage” of the second strike.
Reports from locals in Yemen said at least 30 people were killed in Trump’s first operation and drone strike in the country, at least 10 of whom were women and children, the Intercept reported Monday.
One of the ugliest legacies of Obama’s reign is the drone war, which was his unique approach toward the so-called “war on terror” avoiding his predecessor’s invasion of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
In October 2015, a whistleblower leaked documents to the Intercept revealing that nearly 90 percent of people killed in recent drone strikes in Afghanistan “were not the intended targets” of the attacks.
And now this drone war that Obama laid the ground for and developed for eight years is in the hands of Trump, a president with zero government experience who has packed his administration with far-right characters who are most likely to abuse the program further and care even less about civilian casualties.