The Associated Press (AP) reported that an alleged top-level leader of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) was killed by a drone strike on Monday, September 10.
According to “senior Yemeni Defense Ministry officials” quoted in the article, Saeed al-Shihri and five others were killed by missiles fired from a drone believed to be operated by the United States.
As the story rightly reported, “The U.S. doesn't usually comment on such attacks although it has used drones in the past to go after al-Qaida members in Yemen.”
However, as The New American reported on September 6, 29 people were killed by U.S. drones during the week of September 2 in Yemen. With the killing of al-Shihri and his five companions, nearly 200 suspected militants have been killed by drones in Yemen in 2012.
In keeping with the Obama administration’s official silence on the drone program, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland would not confirm al-Shihri's death.
Lately, however, President Obama has let out a little slack in the tight leash on his death-by-drone program. He has given interviews with Ben Swann of Fox 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and to CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.
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