Drones podcast: Mohammed Qubaty discusses US – Yemen cooperation two weeks after drone strikes kill 40

The US and Yemen military operations are now in ‘complete coordination and collaboration’, a Yemeni opposition politician told the Bureau.

Dr Mohammed Qubaty was speaking to the Bureau two weeks after coordinated US and Yemeni air strikes and ground operations by special forces left at least 40 people dead.

He said this close cooperation between the US and Yemen ‘is a recent development. There is complete coordination and collaboration between both the Yemen and the American side.’ However six months ago it was just US drones striking in the country, he added.

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He also said civilian casualties from drone strikes are a consequence of bad targeting intelligence given to the US by Yemeni intelligence officials still loyal the old regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh in order to discredit the new government.

Dr Qubaty is a former ambassador to Lebannon and Cyprus and served on the National Dialogue Conference, the forum charged with setting up a new constitutional settlement for Yemen after the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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Also this podcast, Alice K Ross and Owen Bennett-Jones discuss the continuing debate in Washington about transparency around US drone strikes. They also discuss recent claims and counter-claims intelligence shared with the US by its allies is used in drone strikes.

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