The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a Freedom of Information Act request looking into a 2009 U.S. missile strike that killed 41 Yemeni people, the groups announced on Tuesday.
The cruise-missile strike, which occurred on Dec. 17, 2009, reportedly killed 21 children and 14 women--the first known U.S. attack on Yemen, according to a release by the ACLU. In search of militants, the attack used cluster bombs on the remote mountain village of al-Majalah. The ACLU said that entire families were wiped out.
The U.S. government, however, has not taken public responsibility for the attacks. The ACLU cites information released through WikiLeaks describing an agreement between the U.S. and Yemeni governments that shields Americans from being held accountable for such attacks. The groups are also using the forum to question the legality of U.S. attacks on terrorism across the globe and the toll of civilian death.
The 13-page request, prepared by CCR's Maria LaHood and the ACLU's Nathan Freed Wessler and Hina Shamsi, was filed to the Pentagon, the Department of the Navy, and the United States Central Command, among other government entities.