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

  • Former CIA head to answer questions about Russian meddling

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former CIA Director John Brennan is set to testify publicly about the intelligence underpinning the Obama administration's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and could shed light on concerns about the security risk posed by U.S. Source
  • Manchester death toll rises after suicide bomber at Ariana Grande concert kills 22 [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MANCHESTER, England — An apparent suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert as it ended Monday night, killing 22 people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers, some still wearing the star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons as they fled. Source
  • Donald Trump: ‘Evil losers’ carried out deadly terrorist attack on Manchester concert goers [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BETHLEHEM - President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned the “evil losers” responsible for a deadly attack on concert-goers in England and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence. “The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever,” Trump said in Bethlehem alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Source
  • British PM Theresa May calls Manchester concert bombing an act of 'appalling, sickening cowardice' [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May says the attack on a concert venue in Manchester Monday night “stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice” Authorities say 22 people were killed and almost 60 wounded when an explosion went off at the end of a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande in the northern England city. Source
  • 'Choose your Quebec' campaign signs reinstalled in Montreal

    Canada News CTV News
    A controversial campaign poster put up by a candidate in the upcoming Montreal byelection has been reinstalled after some said it promotes racism. The sign, which was hung outside the Jean-Talon and Beaubien Metro stations, shows two images of the same woman wearing a toque with a Quebec flag in one, and wearing a Muslim niqab in the other. Source
  • Iconic Honest Ed's sign coming down starting Tuesday

    Canada News CTV News
    One of Toronto’s most recognizable signs will soon be no more. On Tuesday, work crews will begin to remove the flashy Honest Ed’s sign in downtown Toronto. The 23,000-bulb sign has welcomed discount bargain hunters to the intersection of Bathurst and Bloor Streets for decades. Source
  • 'Evil losers': Trump condemns Manchester attack

    World News CTV News
    BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territory -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned a deadly attack at a pop concert in Manchester, England as the act of "evil losers" and called on nations to band together to fight terrorism. Source
  • Manchester death toll rises after suicide bomber at Ariana Grande concert kills 22 [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MANCHESTER, England — An apparent suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert as it ended Monday night, killing 22 people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers, some still wearing the star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons as they fled. Source
  • Donald Trump: ‘Evil losers’ carried out deadly terrorist attack on Manchester concert goers

    World News Toronto Sun
    BETHLEHEM - President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned the “evil losers” responsible for a deadly attack on concert-goers in England and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence. “The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever,” Trump said in Bethlehem alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Source
  • Online 'sextortion' cases involving teen boys spiking: experts

    Canada News CTV News
    Child exploitation experts say they've detected a spike in reports of online "sextortion" cases involving teen boys.Scroll down or click here to vote in our poll of the day The Canadian Centre for Child Protection says 65 boys reported incidents to Cybertip.ca in 2015-16 - an 89 per cent increase from the previous two-year period of 2013-2014. Source