Drone attacks report: An Air Force Times report this week says the U.S. military has removed drone attack data in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military said it has removed information about drone air strikes in Afghanistan from its monthly air power reports, according to the Air Force Times.
The Air Force withdrew a policy on sharing the amount of air strikes carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles after doing so between October 2012 and January 2013. The policy was started in an attempt to give more detail on operations in the country.
“A determination found the data disproportionately focused on [unmanned aerial vehicle’s] kinetic events,” the U.S. Central Command said in the statement obtained by the Times.
“A variety of multi-role platforms provide ground commanders in Afghanistan with close air support capabilities, and it was determined that presenting the weapons release data as a whole better reflects the airpower provided in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” it added. Strikes were carried out on only 3 percent of sorties.
Debate has intensified over U.S. drone strikes in recent weeks after President Barack Obama nominated White House chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, who essentially designed country’s drone plan, as the head of the CIA.
The Air Force Times said that statistics on drone strikes were published until January the military’s monthly reports. But the February data released a few days ago had a blank spot where drone data previously was published.
On Thursday, the White House said that Obama does not have the authority to use a drone to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil if they are not taking part in combat.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism said that between 2004 and 2013, the CIA has carried out 364 drone strikes, killing between 411 and 884 civilians in Pakistan alone.
But in Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO coalition forces have flown more than 7,600 armed drone missions in 2012. There were around 245 drone strikes that year, according to the Bureau.
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