US drone strikes killed 117 civilians during Obama’s presidency: Report
Outgoing President Barack Obama ordered at least 526 drone strikes during his presidency, killing as many as 117 civilians, according to a new report by US intelligence agencies.
The number of drone strikes during the Obama administration was 10 times more than the number carried out during the presidency of President George W. Bush, according to the intelligence community’s report released Thursday.
The annual report was required by Obama’s executive order signed last year, and comes just hours before the end of his term.
US official said the White House called intelligence agencies Thursday to push out the report, saying if it wasn’t released now it may never be under Incoming US President Donald Trump.
The report says as many as 117 civilians have been killed in American drone and other counter-terror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere.
Those numbers were greeted skeptically by human rights organizations, which estimated 380 to 1,000 civilian casualties were caused by US strikes.
The Center for Civilians in Conflict said the figure of civilian casualties in the report falls well short of numbers reported by most independent observers. “They know, better than anybody, how many civilians are actually killed, and it’s important for official figures to match reality,” said the center’s executive director, Federico Borello.
The US military, along with the CIA, conduct drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Libya.
Trump has not addressed the drone policy specifically, but he has said he wants to “take out terrorists” and expects he will continue using drones in counter-terrorism operations.