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CENTCOM confirms drone strike targeted Al-Qaeda leader in Syria

FOX News

The House minority leader blasted Democratic leadership, saying the current policy is'creating another Syria' in the Middle East. The United States military conducted a drone strike in Syria targeting a senior al-Qaeda leader and planner, a CENTCOM spokesperson says. "U.S. forces conducted a kinetic strike near Idlib, Syria, December 3, targeting a senior al-Qaeda leader and planner," CENTCOM spokesperson Captain Bill Urban told Fox News Digital in a statement. "The strike was conducted using a precision strike method from MQ-9 aircraft." Urban added that an "initial review of this strike indicates the potential for possible civilian casualties."


A Blockbuster NYT Report on a Military Cover-Up Should Force the U.S. to Reassess How It Wages War

Slate

U.S. military commanders covered up an air strike over Syria that killed several dozen civilians, dishonestly portraying it as a successful attack against ISIS fighters and ignoring firm recommendations--filed by military lawyers--to investigate the strike as a war crime. The attack and subsequent cover-up--revealed in a long, extensively documented story in this weekend's New York Times--took place in 2019, during the final phase of the U.S. and allied campaign to oust the Islamic State from its self-declared caliphate in Syria. The Times report comes a few months after the final U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan in August, which Pentagon officials touted as halting a terrorist attack--but which in fact, as another Times investigation soon revealed, killed 10 civilians, none of whom had any connection to terrorists. Together, the two reports raise questions about the moral and strategic wisdom of launching airstrikes in areas where civilians and fighters routinely mix. These questions have been raised many times in the course of America's 20-year "global war on terror."


Iraqi PM Calls For Restraint After Drone Strike On His Home

International Business Times

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi said he was unhurt and appealed for "calm and restraint" after a drone attack on his residence early Sunday heightened political tensions in the war-scarred country. The attack in Baghdad's Green Zone was the first to target the residence of Kadhemi, who has been in power since May 2020. It came as Iraq's political parties negotiate alliances over who will run the next government after elections last month. That vote saw the Conquest (Fatah) Alliance, the political arm of the pro-Iran Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary network, suffer a substantial decline in its parliamentary seats, leading the group to denounce the outcome as "fraud". The big winner, with more than 70 seats according to the initial count, was the movement of Moqtada Sadr, a Shiite Muslim preacher who campaigned as a nationalist and critic of Iran.


Iraq PM Calls For Restraint After Drone Strike On His Home

International Business Times

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi said he was unhurt and appealed for "calm and restraint" after a drone attack on his residence early Sunday that heightened political tensions in the war-scarred country. The attack in Baghdad's Green Zone was the first to target the residence of Kadhemi, who has been in power since May 2020. It came as Iraq's political parties negotiate alliances over who will run the next government after elections last month. That vote saw the Conquest (Fatah) Alliance, the political arm of the pro-Iran Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary network, suffer a substantial decline in its parliamentary seats, leading the group to denounce the outcome as "fraud". The big winner, with more than 70 seats according to the initial count, was the movement of Moqtada Sadr, a Shiite Muslim preacher who campaigned as a nationalist and critic of Iran.


Watchdog finds no misconduct in mistaken Afghan airstrike

FOX News

Fox News contributor Joey Jones reacts to testimony from Pentagon officials on the Afghanistan withdrawal and slams the New York Times' proposed redesigns of the American flag. An independent Pentagon review has concluded that the U.S. drone strike that killed innocent Kabul civilians and children in the final days of the Afghanistan war was not caused by misconduct or negligence, and it doesn't recommend any disciplinary action. The review, done by Air Force Lt. Gen. Sami Said, found there were breakdowns in communication and in the process of identifying and confirming the target of the bombing. Said concluded that the mistaken strike happened despite prudent measures to prevent civilian deaths. "I found that given the information they had and the analysis that they did -- I understand they reached the wrong conclusion, but ... was it reasonable to conclude what they concluded based on what they had? It just turned out to be incorrect," Said said.


Senior al-Qaida leader killed in U.S. drone strike in Syria

The Japan Times

Washington – A senior al-Qaida leader was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria, the Pentagon said Friday. The strike comes two days after a base in southern Syria, used by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, was assaulted. "A U.S. airstrike today in northwest Syria killed senior al-Qaida leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar," said Central Command spokesman Maj. There were no known casualties from the strike, he said, adding it was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft. "The removal of this al-Qaida senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks," he said.


US says it killed al-Qaeda leader in Syria with drone strike

Al Jazeera

The US military has killed senior al Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in a drone strike in Syria, a US Central Command spokesman said. "The removal of this al Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organisation's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," US Army Major John Rigsbee said in a written statement late on Friday. The strike comes two days after a US outpost in southern Syria was attacked. Rigsbee did not say if the US drone strike was carried out in retaliation of the attack.


U.S. offers payments and relocation to family of Afghans killed in botched drone attack

The Japan Times

The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan in August during the final days before American troops withdrew from the country. The U.S. Defense Department said it made a commitment that included offering "ex-gratia condolence payments," in addition to working with the U.S. State Department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, held a virtual meeting on Thursday with Steven Kwon, the founder and president of Nutrition & Education International, the aid organization that employed Zemari Ahmadi, who was killed in the Aug. 29 drone attack, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said late on Friday. Ahmadi and others who were killed in the strike were innocent victims who bore no blame and were not affiliated with Islamic State Khorasan or threats to U.S. forces, Kirby said. The drone strike in Kabul killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children.


'I am on the Kill List. This is what it feels like to be hunted'

#artificialintelligence

I am in the strange position of knowing that I am on the'Kill List'. I know this because I have been told, and I know because I have been targeted for death over and over again. Four times missiles have been fired at me. I am extraordinarily fortunate to be alive. I don't want to end up a "Bugsplat" – the ugly word that is used for what remains of a human being after being blown up by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone.


After 20 years of drone strikes, it's time to admit they've failed

MIT Technology Review

But what the gossip and the op-eds didn't mention was that the real surprise wasn't Haqqani's public appearances--it was that he was appearing at all: Multiple times over the last two decades, the US military thought they'd killed him in drone strikes. Clearly Haqqani is alive and well. But that raises a glaring question: if Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani wasn't killed in those US drone strikes, who was? The usual bland response is "terrorists," an answer now institutionalized by the highest levels of the US security state. But the final days of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan showed that is not necessarily true.