In a much-anticipated announcement Friday, the White House revealed at least 65 non-combatants with the possibility as many as 116 non-combatants were killed in drone strikes conducted on Libyan, Pakistani, Somalian and Yemeni soil between 2009 and the end of 2015.
Similarly, the Obama Administration publicized a total of 473 drone strikes had killed between 2,372 and 2,581 terror combatants in all theaters of combat in the time period 2009 to December 31, 2015.
Citing the difficulty in establishing a more accurate number of deaths from drone strikes, the report left open the possibility of future revisions to statistics released Friday.
The report released Friday afternoon did not reveal the estimates of civilian dead in attacks against targets in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, citing “diplomatic sensitivities.”
The number of civilian deaths disclosed Friday, however, is at odds with the total estimated civilian deaths by human rights groups, which state the number is considerably higher than White House estimates and are likely closer to between 250 and 368 civilian deaths resulting from drone strikes.
One evaluation from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism places civilian deaths at 800, but does acknowledge challenges in establishing accurate numbers. Attorney Jennifer Gibson, representing another non-governmental organization, London-based Repreive, criticized the White House report, saying it’s “is unlikely to be worth the paper it’s printed on.”
[RT News] [thebureauinvestigates.com] [www.reprieve.org.uk]