Counterproductive offensive in Yemen


Sunday 21 October 2012
Last Update 20 October 2012 5:54 pm
According to media reports, at least 16 Yemeni soldiers lost their lives in a revenge attack on an army base in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan. Yemeni forces started its offensive against militants in Abyan province in Yemen two years ago under the cover of US drones. Twenty-five thousand soldiers participated in the offensive which is still continuing.
Despite the ongoing military offensive against militants, Yemen is witnessing a spate suicide attacks these days. Just days ago Yemeni defense minister survived an assassination attempt in heart of the capital, Sanaa. After several drone attacks which killed scores of ordinary people, rate of suicide attacks has doubled in Yemen. Last month in one of the worst attacks in the heart of the capital more than hundred soldiers were killed. Unfortunately Yemeni authorities are making the same mistake, which Pakistan made in the past.
Yemen has a tribal culture like Pakistan where culture of revenge is very strong, which is main cause of suicide attacks. Ten years ago, Pakistan also launched an offensive against own tribesmen under the cover of US drones but despite loss of 7,000 soldiers, 10,000 ordinary people and heavy losses to country’s economy, Pakistan is still not able to control the situation and militancy is still growing in tribal area. US drone attacks and revenge attacks are also making things from bad to worse for security forces and the army is facing an uphill task to control the situation.
The fact of the matter is that the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan proves that you can’t win war against your own people and can’t bring peace through use of drones and air power. Human rights organizations in Pakistan claim that for killing one militant, US drones kill 10 innocent people. Killing of ordinary people provides more opportunities to militants to hire more recruits and pursue their agenda against the government. Instead of taking instructions from the outside Yemeni authorities should try to adopt policies according to their own interest. — Khawaja Umer Farooq,Jeddah

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