This file photo shows a US assassination drone.
A group of American rights activists are scheduled to travel to Yemen to meet with the victims of US assassination drone attacks and the families of Yemeni detainees held at the US’s Guantanamo prison.
The seven-member delegation, who are expected to visit Yemen from June 11 to 18, say the relations between Washington and Sana'a should be based on diplomacy and adherence to international law, not drone strikes and indefinite detentions.
“We are traveling to Yemen as citizen diplomats to show the people there that not all Americans support these policies of terror and assassination, and we know that peace cannot be achieved by dropping Hellfire missiles from Predator drones,” the delegation, organized by the US anti-war group Code Pink, said in a statement.
On Sunday, a tribal source said that US assassination drone strikes in Yemen’s northern province of al-Jawf claimed the lives of at least five people.
The United States has stepped up its drone operations in Yemen over the past few years. On June 1, at least seven people were killed in a similar strike in the country’s southern province of Abyan.
According to the Washington-based think tank, the New America Foundation, the US drone attacks in Yemen almost tripled in 2012.
In April, Yemeni National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms said US drones had conducted more than 80 air raids in the Middle Eastern country last year.
Washington has come under fire for increasing the drone attacks in Yemen, where the people have held many demonstrations to condemn the violation of Yemen’s sovereignty by the US drone raids.
Washington uses its assassination drones in countries including Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., claiming that they target terrorists, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks.