Yemeni citizens, rights groups and lawmakers have vehemently condemned the presence of US Marine troops on Yemeni soil and the transformation of a five-star hotel in the capital, Sana’a, into a US military base, Press TV reports.
In interviews with Press TV, the legislators and human rights activists harshly criticized the conversion of the capital’s Sheraton Hotel into a military building and said they considered the presence of American forces as an occupation of their country.
The Yemenis argued that the US move to bring in the Marines for the protection of its diplomatic mission is merely a pretext for US domination on the ground.
“American Marines entered the country before the revolution and their numbers have increased... it’s similar to what happened when Britain occupied southern Yemen decades ago. The presence of Marine forces in the large number can only be described as an occupation,” political activist Abdu Ahmed said.
The US embassy in Sana’a reportedly booked all the rooms in the Sheraton Hotel, firing 200 members of the hotel's staff after paying them a severance payment equal to six months of salary.
“We feel insecure. Anyone who goes up on the rooftop of his building will be targeted with a red light pointed to his chest. So if we can’t feel safe in our own country where can we find security and peace of mind?” said a Yemeni citizen.
The growing US domination has sparked numerous mass demonstrations, particularly in the Sada’a governorate to the north of the capital Sana’a.
The protesters in these demonstrations expressed the peoples’ total rejection of foreign intervention in their country’s affairs.
The increasing number of US assassination drone attacks, which mostly target innocent civilians, were also lambasted by the human rights groups.
The activists said the growing US interference in Yemen’s affairs is considered a flagrant violation of the Middle Eastern country’s sovereignty.
“Giving [approval to] US Marines to violate the country’s sovereignty is treason and those giving approval must be prosecuted. The assassinations are carried out right after the US intelligence apparatus received names of people suspected of being involved in al-Qaeda. There are a number of normal people on these lists, who can be easily arrested and brought to justice if found guilty,” human rights activist Abdulrahaman Barman noted.
Washington uses its assassination drones in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia, claiming that they target the terrorists. The attacks, however, have mostly led to massive civilian casualties.