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Drone victim: U.S. strikes boost al-Qaida recruitment

On April 17, a 23-year-old Yemeni activist and journalist named Farea Al-Muslimi tweeted about a U.S. drone strike on his village, Wessab, which he describes as “the Yemen capital of misery with its beautiful mountains no one from outside remembers.” In the strike, five alleged members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were killed. The U.S. droned Yemen 53 times last year, tripling the number of attacks from 2011, and incurring a civilian casualty rate between 4 to 8.5 percent. On April 23, Al-Muslimi gave stirring testimony at the first U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the legality of drone wars.

In the exclusive conversation below, Al-Muslimi tells Salon about the drone strikes’ devastating toll on Yemeni civilians and how the current U.S. counterterrorism policy in Yemen is like “reading from a manual '10 Steps on How to Lose a War.'”

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