U.S. to disclose casualty count from drone strikes since 2009

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration plans to disclose how many people have been killed by U.S. drones and counterterrorism strikes since 2009, the White House said Monday, in a bid to bolster credibility for the controversial programs.

See Full Article

An assessment to be released in the coming weeks will cover both combatants and civilians the U.S. believes have died as a result of strikes from the skies since President Barack Obama took office. It won't cover areas of "active hostilities" like Iraq and Syria, where U.S. airstrikes are targeting the Islamic State, or Afghanistan. Instead, the report aims to illustrate the fatal toll of other U.S. actions overseas to go after disparate terrorism threats.

In recent years, the U.S. has conducted counterterrorism strikes in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, among other places.

Lisa Monaco, Obama's counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, was to announce the decision in a speech Monday at the Council on Foreign Relations. She called the forthcoming report part of Obama's "commitment to transparency" and added that the numbers would be disclosed annually in the future.

"We know that not only is greater transparency the right thing to do, it is the best way to maintain the legitimacy of our counterterrorism actions and the broad support of our allies," Monaco said in excerpts of her speech obtained in advance by The Associated Press.

U.S. lawmakers have long pressed for more transparency about how many civilians the U.S. kills in drone strikes each year, but those calls for more disclosure have traditionally faced opposition from the U.S. intelligence community. In 2014, senators dropped a demand for a public declaration. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at the time that the administration was exploring ways to provide more information about the strikes while protecting classified information and confidential sources.

President Barack Obama tightened rules for drone attacks last year, partly to limit unintended casualties, and deaths have declined significantly since then. U.S. officials say few civilians have died from drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere over the last decade, though unofficial tallies by human rights groups cite higher figures.

Although most of the U.S. strikes taking place in areas like North Africa are drone strikes, the report will also cover other lethal counterterrorism operations like bombing raids carried out by the U.S. since 2009.

Because the U.S. doesn't publicly disclose all the drone strikes it takes, the report isn't expected to detail the specific countries where people died. Instead, it will offer an aggregate assessment. Although the report doesn't cover the highest profile conflicts like Iraq and Syria, officials stressed that the U.S. seeks to limit use of force and avoid civilian casualties in those conflicts as well.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Three suspects arrested in U.K. acid attack on 3-year-old boy

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - British police have arrested three more suspects in connection with an apparent acid attack on a 3-year-old boy who suffered severe burns. West Mercia Police said Monday that three men, ages 22, 25 and 26, are being questioned in London on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. Source
  • 'A lot more vigorous': Paralyzed Humboldt Bronco in Calgary to work with new physio

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki is drenched in sweat after a workout that more closely resembled military boot camp than physiotherapy. The 19-year-old's two-hour routine at Synaptic: Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Calgary included chin ups, boxing, heavy rope training and pulling himself into a full standing position from his wheelchair just with the use of his arms. Source
  • Heat wave hits Japan and South Korea

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius on Monday, the highest ever recorded in Japan, as a deadly heat wave gripped a wide swath of the country and nearby South Korea. Source
  • Japan records highest temperature ever as heat wave grips region

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - Japan recorded its highest temperature ever Monday as a deadly heat wave continued to grip a wide swath of the country and nearby South and North Korea. The mercury hit 41.1 degrees Celsius in Kumagaya, a city in Saitama prefecture that is about 65 kilometres northwest of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Source
  • Ambivalence over amnesty proposal to end gang violence in Mexico

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Lucia Diaz and other volunteers have found more than 300 bodies in clandestine graves along Mexico's Gulf coast, and she embodies the trepidation, hope and fear with which Mexicans regard the proposal by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to grant amnesty to calm gang-fuelled violence. Source
  • U.S. Secretary of State calls Iran religious leaders 'hypocritical holy men'

    World News CTV News
    SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called the religious leaders of Iran "hypocritical holy men" who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer, part of a highly critical broadside issued as the republic approached the 40th anniversary of its Islamic revolution and the U.S. Source
  • Trump takes to Twitter to threaten Iran

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani early Monday that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States. Trump tweeted about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Rouhani said Sunday "American must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars. Source
  • Multiple people injured after shots fired on busy Toronto street

    Canada News CTV News
    There are reports of multiple injuries after shots rang out in a busy Toronto neighbourhood Sunday night. Police, paramedics and firefighters have converged on the scene in the area of Danforth and Logan avenues, in Toronto’s east end. Source
  • Nine people shot, shooter dead after gunfire in Toronto: police

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police say nine people have been shot, including a young girl, and the shooter is dead after gunfire rang out in a busy Toronto neighbourhood. The victims were taken to city hospitals, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear. Source
  • One victim and suspect dead, 13 injured in Toronto shooting: police

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police say 14 people have been shot, one of them fatally, and the gunman is dead after gunfire rang out along a busy Toronto street on Sunday night. Among the injured is a young girl who was in critical condition, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at the scene. Source