This opinion poll shows Yemenis opinion in particular about the surveillance plane spotting yesterday morning and also the use of drones inside Yemen in general.
When interviewing a random selection of Yemenis this evening in Capital Sana’a, here are key issues to keep in mind.
- Most of them, apparently from all walks of life, didn’t know about the surveillance plane
- Most of them were educated and did not know there was a kind of mutual agreement between US and Yemeni governments regarding the use of drones inside Yemen.
Hamood Muhammed al-Hamdani, 60, qat seller. Said he didn’t know about the surveillance plane nor had he heard about it.
When briefed about it, he said: “Aha, Abdu Rabo [president Hadi] brought that with him [from the United States], didn’t he? Khalas, we are so that Americanized that they’ve colonized us.”
Majid, 72, Grocery cashier, Ibb: He said he heard the buzz of the plane but didn’t know it was an American aircraft nor had he heard about it.
“Didn’t our president go there to get aids? So, that’s a fair quid pro quo.”
Saqr Adel Ezzaddin, 18, student, from Ibb: He didn’t know or hear about it.
“It’s something our nation should be proud of. If using it is safer, then welcome. If poses danger on our country, like our planes falling from the sky, then we don’t want it.”
A grocery store worker, said he has no idea what is being talked about?
Zayed Sultan Abdurrahim, 33, from Taiz, a grocery cashier: Like most interviewees, he didn’t know about it.
When asked ‘what do you think about using the US unmanned piloted planes inside Yemen?’ he said: “it’s not a big deal, just get them pilots,” he said with a serious look then smiled.
“Well, no one would accept that. It’s about sovereignty and what’s a country for if it can’t guarantee that.
Waleed Ahmed Yaeesh, 35, from Sana’a Old City, a taxi driver:
He didn’t know about it. “Ask me about large amounts of traffic in malls and at roundabouts, something about Eid treats….”
Then when asked about using drones in general, he said: “We should call that a scoundrel’s act. Because it’s merely a bad thing. We are too much disturbed by [feeding] our stomachs [to be targeted with drones.”
Wael Sadeq al-Aqeeli, 24, a taxi driver from Amran: “Did it really happen? We were sleeping at that time. But if it did, that constitutes an infringement of sovereignty. I learned about it from Facebook this afternoon. I read some posts in that regards.”
Raef Al-Faqih, 18, student from Taiz: He didn’t know either.
“They [Americans] should not have any power; it’s our country because if they do, we would soon be forgotten like the Palestinians.
Hatem Murshid al-Hamdani, 18, a student from Hamdan: He said he heard the buzz and suspected something really bad would happen but didn’t know it was a US plane. “They do really terrify people. They make them believe that there are al-Qaeda elements in the city. So, you don’t really feel safe. I do fear al-Qaeda, Houthis, etc.”
Muhammed Muhammed Al-Dhibyani, 30, pharmacist from Dhuhr Anes, Dhamar: Didn’t know as others.
“It’s a big mistake [to allow use of US drone in Yemen]. It indicates that our state is so weak. If they really want to target anyone [inside Yemen], we have got a government that should at least be consulted.” When told there is a kind of cooperation, he said: “Well, then our government is corrupt.”
Lateefah Almosawa, 40, mother of 4 children, from Ibb: “We suspected the continuous buzz then my husband told me ‘that must be a drone’. The buzz was horrific. We slept and woke up on that same buzz. I felt really upset that America has all that interference over Yemen [with the drone] staying that long without a respect for Yemen’s sovereignty. Even if the government is that submissive, why the people keep quiet? At least they got to do something. I turned to Mohammed [her son] to express his contempt over Facebook.
Husn Almosawa (mom :) ), 60, mother of 12: I was terrified and thought it would strike anytime. They should not interfere in our business even though we have got a president that is a sheep.