Anwar Al-Awlaki, prominent Yemeni-American leader of Al-Qaeda’s outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday by a drone strike led by the Central Intelligence Agency. According to The New York Times, President Obama said in a White House gathering that “the death of Awlaki is a major blow to Al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate.”
The death comes amid grave political and economic crises in the withering country, as well as the recurrent calls for Ali Abdullah Saleh, the President of the republic, to resign. President Saleh has reportedly stated that he is indispensable to the American battle against terrorism in Yemen, but the claim holds very weak ground in light of this high-profile, American-led assassination.
And, though this operation may have been a victory for American forces and the fight against terrorism, did it endanger President Saleh’s legitimacy to power? Could Yemen spiral into further political chaos?