US defence chief orders military to better protect civilians

Al Jazeera 

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has issued a directive ordering the United States military to do more to protect civilians from harm in drone attacks and other combat operations. In a two-page memo to top Pentagon civilian and military officials, Austin on Thursday ordered a comprehensive overhaul of the US Defense Department's posture towards protecting civilians in conflict zones. "The protection of innocent civilians in the conduct of our operations remains vital to the ultimate success of our operations and as a significant strategic and moral imperative," the memo reads. The defence secretary asked for an action plan from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to prevent harm to civilians and improve US responses when such incidents occur. That plan is due within 90 days.

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