Drone strikes alone won't stamp out al Qaeda in Yemen: analysts

Drone strikes alone won
# 22 April 2014 03:05 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. An intense two days of air strikes on al Qaeda in Yemen may have killed or wounded some of its commanders, but drones alone are unlikely to eradicate the threat the group poses to Yemenis and the West, APA reports quoting Reuters.

A weak central government, a rivalry-ridden and poorly equipped security force, endemic poverty and corruption have made Yemen the ideal haven of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whom U.S. President Barack Obama has described as the group "most active in plotting against our homeland".

Desperate to prevent AQAP from planning more attacks like its attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner in December 2009, Washington has used drones to strike and kill group members and leaders.

But analysts say drone strikes do only limited harm to AQAP.

They say the group will remain a serious menace unless the government can address challenges like poverty and inadequate security forces, and curb the occasional civilian casualties inflicted by drone attacks that inflame anti-U.S. sentiment.

"The U.S. can't simply kill its way out of the terrorism threat," said Letta Tayler, Human Rights Watch's senior researcher on terrorism and counter-terrorism.

"The U.S. and other concerned nations should address all the drivers of terrorism including poverty, illiteracy, political marginalization and lack of opportunity for young people."

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