Spotlight: Investigative journalism body says U.S. drones kill hundreds of innocent civilians

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An investigative journalism body and other human rights groups believe U.S. drones are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government confirmed for the first time civilian casualties caused by U.S. drone strikes, saying between 64 and 116 “non-combatants” in 473 counter-terrorism strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya had been killed between January 2009 and the end of 2015.

But research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) based at City University London claims that the real civilian death toll is far higher than the figures released by President Barrack Obama’s administration.

Jack Serle, a British investigative journalist and researcher at the TBIJ, said this is a fraction of the 380 to 801 civilian casualties range recorded by the bureau from reports by local and international journalists, NGO investigators, leaked government documents, and other sources.

Drones have been used hundreds of times in the four countries to target terrorists and their leaders, according to the TBIJ.

“The nature of civilian casualties as a result of the military and paramilitary responses to terror mean that civilians are going to die, and nobody is saying otherwise,” Serle said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“Since becoming president in 2009, Barack Obama has significantly extended the use of drones in the War on Terror. Operating outside declared battlefields, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, this air war has been largely fought in Pakistan and Yemen,” Serle said.

So far the bureau has identified 213 civilians killed in Pakistan by drones in Obama’s presidency, he noted. He attributed the disparity in the numbers of civilian casualties released by the bureau and the U.S. government to their uses of definitions.

“We have been compiling figures for some years, using reports from respected international media organizations,” he said.

Serle raised a question about whether the use of drone strikes is legal or not, saying that there are lawyers currently trying to initiate a case against the drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan.

“There was a case brought against Israel over the use of drones against Palestinians. It went as high as the Supreme Court, but the conclusion was that the use of drone strikes had to be considered on a case by case basis,” he said.

Jennifer Gibson, from human rights group Reprieve, said that Obama published numbers “that are hundreds lower than even the lowest estimates by independent organizations.”

“The only thing those numbers tell us is that this administration simply doesn’t know who it has killed,” Gibson said.

A White House statement issued on July 1 said that since Obama took office he has been clear that the United States will use force abroad to protect Americans when necessary.

The statement outlined steps “to institutionalize and enhance best practices regarding U.S. counter-terrorism operations and other U.S. operations involving the use of force, as well as providing greater transparency and accountability regarding these operations.”

In May 2013, Obama issued policy guidance that direct action would be taken only if there is “near certainty” that the terrorist target is present and “near certainty” that non-combatants will not be killed or injured, noting “near certainty” is “the highest standard we can set.”

Jamel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, welcomed any disclosure of information about the U.S. government’s targeted-killing policies, but adding the government should release more details about every strike.

“The public has a right to know who the government is killing – and if the government doesn’t know who it’s killing, the public should know that,” said Jaffer.

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  1. THAT WAS 2016 ! IN 2021 AND BEYOND – DRONES WITH AI ARE THE FUTURE !

    THE INDIANS ARE DOING ONLINE YOGA AND LOOKING FOR PIA BALLOONS AND THEREFORE – THEY HAVE BEEN ATTACJED BY 2 DRONES YESTERDAY – WHICH BOMBED THEIR IAF AIRBASES !

    https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-probes-suspected-use-drones-blast-jammu-air-base-officials-2021-06-27/

    HOW CAN THE WORLD USE INDAIN VAXES ? HOW CAN INDIA HAVE AN AIRFORCE ? HOW CAN INDIANS BE IN THE QUAD ! THEY CAN’T SAVE THEIR PLANES – HOW WILL THEY SAVE THEIR PEOPLE !

    This is another false flag ! A drone came from AK, 10 kms into Hindoosthan,via the IB/LC and all the pandoos of the BSF,ADS and the IAF were sleeping !

    The attack was at NIGHT – so there was NO VISUAL SIGNATURE.

    Y did the Drones miss ? Did they come to blow a hole in the roof of a building ? How could they miss the Choppers and Jets ? What about the Fuel Dumps ?

    UAVIED = IED Force Multiplier ! A small payload can cause more damage than a ICBM – as the payload can be targetted TO A SPECIFIC EXPONENTIAL TARGET (like ammo dumps,fuel dumps,jets loaded with fuel and ammo ….)

    Sat pictures of the IAF base would be known to the Mujahideen,and so,the GPS coordinates WILL GUIDE THE DRONE TO THE TARGET ! So Y did the drone miss ?

    So the Drone was NOT GPS tuned,and was a basic drone ! Y will a basic drone be used, unless it be tracked to drop payload at a target ? The only STEALTH WAY to do the same – is via a camera, which transmits at set intervals (so that IAF jammers,do NOT intercept the transmission)

    The fact that the Drone entered the IAF base and was on ATC zone, means that the handler could see the target ! AND SO Y DID THE HANDLER DROP THE CHARGE AT THE WRONG TARGET ? There was no drone recovered by the Indians – SO THE DRONE DID NOT MALFUNCTION – and so,Y was the payload dropped ?

    It is simple ! It was a false flag ! Done by RAW and MOSSAD,to fund the DRONE DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY,TO BE SOLD BY ISRAEL,TO INDIA ! THE ISRAELI TECHNOLOGY IS USELESS FOR INDIA! THE DRONES USED BY THE KASHMIRI FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN INDIA,ARE SMALL DRONES, WHICH HAVE NO RCS AND NO INFRA RED OR THERMAL SIGNATURE – AND CARRY A VERY SMALL PAYLOAD

    Hamas DRONES were large with heavy payloads,and slow,with a set trajectory !

    Indian Drones are based on the “IED Force Multiplier” concept ! The key in India is TARGET SELECTION – then getting the drone to HIT the target,is easy meat – especially at Nights with cloud cover and a dark moon ! If the small drones fly even at 10000 feet – radars will
    not detect the same !Tree Top cruising is the last option,for the mujahideen !

    So the Israeli technology will not work, in India !

    The Solution to jammers used by the Indians, is saturation drones,at the same time but attacking from different coordinates.In addition,once the drones are 50 -100 meters from the target – all radio frequency and visual transmission needs to be cut off, and the handler has to use time and distance to plan the drop – by 1 last transmission, at an unknown frequency !

    Once the drone RCS is minimised,then drones at a height of even 500 feet,will be invisible to radar and the human eye – even in the day ! Then just one last visual relay from the drone is required – to release the payload – like the WW2 bombers – were bombs were manually dropped from 20000 feet – AND THIS IS 500 FEET ! And if this happens at NIGHT – then it is Gala Freedom! KAMIKAZE DRONES ARE NON-STOPPER !

    Sooner rather than later,the UAVIEDs will reach the Naxals and the North East !

    Take the example of Goa,IAF base in Dabolim Commercial Airport,Fuel Dumps for IAF,Navy and Railways – visible to the eye,Ports and Ships at Dock – visible to the eye,packed tourists in the open spaces,oil and naptha tankers docked at high seas ….

    India has TO READ THE WRITING ON THE WALL ! Give Freedom to Kashmir and partition India !

    The Indians DID NOT have the sense to have a ABR, in the form of a drone,at a height of even 1000 feet to scan all projectile movement – as a drone,has a SET TRAJECTORY AND PATH PATTERN AND A SET SPEED .Even then,the ABR MIGHT detect the drone,BUT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP THE DRONE.NO ADS WORKS AT 50 TO 300 FEET – AS IT IS TOO CLOSE TO MISS.dindooohindoo

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