Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama acknowledges civilian deaths by U.S. drones

President Barack Obama says “vigorous criteria” is being used on intelligence about targets.

President Barack Obama says “vigorous criteria” is being used on intelligence about targets.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday that "civilians were killed that shouldn't have been" in past U.S. drone strikes, but said the administration is now "very cautious" about striking where women or children are present.

Obama was asked at a news conference about an increase in the number of people targeted in drone strikes against extremists in Libya, Syria, Somalia and elsewhere.

"In the past, there was legitimate criticism that the legal architecture around the use of drone strikes wasn't as precise as it should have been," Obama said. "There's no doubt that civilians were killed that shouldn't have been."

He added that over the last several years, the administration has worked to prevent civilian deaths.

"In situations of war, you know, we have to take responsibility when we're not acting appropriately," Obama said.

Recent drone and other airstrikes against extremist targets have killed large numbers of people. A strike on an Islamic State training camp in western Libya in February killed more than 40 people; a drone strike in Somalia against al-Shabab on March 5 killed 150 people. Another drone strike, in Yemen in February, killed dozens.

The United States came under heavy criticism for a drone strike several years ago against extremists in Yemen, which critics said actually hit a wedding party and killed women and children.

In October, an AC-130 gunship mistakenly hit a hospital in Afghanistan that was run by the charity organization Doctors Without Borders. The group has demanded that the strike be investigated as a war crime. The Pentagon disciplined several officers and enlisted personnel for their part in the attack.

Obama said Friday the United States uses "vigorous criteria" for getting intelligence on targeting, and that intelligence is "checked, double-checked, triple-checked before kinetic actions are taken."

He said the United States is targeting camps that are clearly "involved in and directing plots that could do the United States harm or are supporting ISIL activities or al-Qaida activities."

Then, he said, "a strike will be taken."

Obama acknowledges civilian deaths by U.S. drones 04/01/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2016 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. City bus crashes into South Tampa building

    Accidents

    TAMPA — A city bus veered off the road and crashed into a South Tampa office building on Friday morning.

    A city bus veered off the road and crashed into a South Tampa office at 2503 W Swann Avenue on Aug. 8, 2017. [10News WTSP]
  2. Andrew Gillum saw the sights in NYC with suspected undercover FBI

    Blogs

    WCTV reports:

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is speaking out after a new photo has surfaced showing him in New York City with an alleged FBI agent.

  3. Andrew Gillum saw the sights in NYC with suspected undercover FBI

    Blogs

    WCTV reports:

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is speaking out after a new photo has surfaced showing him in New York City with an alleged FBI agent.

  4. Father who jokes he'd burn a school down is now banned from all Polk County school grounds

    K12

    A Polk County father has been banned from all school properties after he made a comment on his Facebook page that he "wanted to burn the (school) down."

    Christopher Stephenson was banned from his child's school after writing he wanted to burn the school down on Facebook. Something the father says was clearly a figure of speech, but the school says was a creditable threat. (Facebook)
  5. The Florida Gators' case for QB Luke Del Rio

    College

    GAINESVILLE — It took three years and two transfers for Florida's Luke Del Rio to become a starting quarterback.

    Florida Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio (14) warms up next to quarterback Austin Appleby (12) before the game against the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday September 17, 2016 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Final score was Florida 32 North Texas 0. (Monica Herndon, Times)