Obama's emphasis on drones was met with controversy, particularly following reports in Afghanistan, the tribal areas of Pakistan's northwest region and in Yemen of errant strikes that killed civilians, prompting Obama to turn over responsibility for drone strikes to the military, which under its authorities for war must report them to Congress. It remains unclear whether the CIA needs to or does so for each of its covert drone activities.
President Barack Obama is acknowledging that "civilians have been killed that shouldn't have been" in past U.S. drone strikes, but says the administration is now "very cautious" about taking strikes where women or children are present. Asked at a news conference about an increase in the number of people targeted in several drone strikes against extremist targets in Libya, Syria and Somalia, Obama said the "legal architecture" around the use of drone strikes in the past hasn't been precise. But in the last several years, he says, the administration has worked hard to prevent civilian deaths. He says the U.S. has to take responsibility when it is not acting appropriately. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The family of the driver killed in a US drone strike that targeted Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor have registered a case against US officials seeking murder charges. The case, filed by the family of Mohammad Azam who was killed last week along with Mansoor in the Pakistani town of Ahmad Wal near Afghan border, said the father of four was innocent. US officials described the car's driver as a "second male combatant" but according to Pakistani security officials he was a chauffeur named Mohammad Azam who worked for the Al Habib rental company based out of Quetta, the region's main city. "US officials whose name I do not know accepted the responsibility in media for this incident, so I want justice and request legal action against those responsible for it," Mohammad Qasim, Azam's brother said in a police report, a copy of which was seen by the AFP news agency. "My brother was innocent and he was very poor who has left behind four small children and he was the lone bread earner in the family," he added.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency secret new authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, U.S. officials said, changing the Obama administration's policy of limiting the spy agency's paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon. The new authority, which hadn't been previously disclosed, represents a significant departure from a cooperative approach that had become standard practice by the end of former President Barack Obama's tenure: The CIA used drones and other intelligence resources to locate suspected terrorists and then the military conducted the actual strike. The U.S. drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in May 2016 in Pakistan was the best example of that hybrid approach, U.S. officials said. The Obama administration put the military in charge of pulling the trigger to promote transparency and accountability. The CIA, which operates under covert authorities, wasn't required to disclose the number of suspected terrorists or civilian bystanders it killed in drone strikes.
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing U.S. officials. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role, the newspaper reported. The White House, the U.S. Department of Defense and the CIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Obama had sought to influence global guidelines for the use of drone strikes as other nations began pursuing their own drone programs. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.