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Yemeni says drones turning his neighbors into U.S. enemies

April 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 24 (UPI) -- A Yemeni man who spent time in the United States as a high school student warned Congress that drone strikes are making his neighbors anti-American.

Farea al-Muslimi testified Tuesday at a public hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights called by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. Muslimi said a drone strike on his village last week killed a suspected militant who could easily have been detained by Yemeni security forces, The New York Times reported.

Muslimi said his neighbors' attitude toward the United States had been shaped by his telling them about the "wonderful experiences" he had as a student.

"Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the fear they feel at the drones over their heads," he said. "What the violent militants had failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant."

The Obama administration did not supply any witnesses to defend the drone program. Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel who worked in the drone program, testified that drone strikes can be controlled more exactly and said civilians might also be killed in ground operations to capture militant suspects.

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