U.S. drone strikes killed thousands of civilians: report DEUTSCHE WELLE

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A strike cell routinely sidestepped safety procedures in Afghanistan and West Asia, The New York Times has found.

What did the report find?


In one case cited by the paper, U.S. special forces claimed to have killed 85 “Islamic State” fighters in northern Syria. According to investigative reporting carried out by The New York Times, the dead were 120 villagers. According to the report, a U.S. strike cell known as Talon Anvil regularly sidestepped procedures meant to protect civilians in its bombing campaign against the “Islamic State.” In August, a New York Times investigation found that a Kabul airstrike had killed 10 members of a family. U.S. officials said it had destroyed a vehicle that contained bombs, a claim that was later retracted.

How did the U.S. air campaign begin?

The U.S. air campaign took shape during the government of President Barack Obama, born out of public opposition to ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where thousands of American soldiers died. The U.S. scaled back its ground presence and replaced it with an increased use of drone strikes. This campaign further intensified under President Donald Trump.

Obama called this the “most precise air campaign in history.” According to The New York Times, over a five-year period U.S. forces carried out more than 50,000 strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The AFP news agency contributed to this article.

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