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    US Hides Civilian Casualties From Drone Strikes in Mid East- Anti-War Group

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    Co-founder of CODEPINK anti-war organization Medea Benjamin said that the US government had been hiding the civilian casualties caused by the drone strikes in the Middle East, Somalia and Afghanistan.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The government of the United States has been hiding the real data on casualties from deadly drone strikes in the Middle East, Somalia and Afghanistan, the co-founder of CODEPINK anti-war organization told Sputnik on Friday.

    "We feel that our government has been hiding the civilian casualties in the illegal nature of the use of drones and we want to expose that in our efforts to stop that," Medea Benjamin told the news agency.

    According to Benjamin, CODEPINK has been working for several years on exposing "the US military and CIA use of killer drones in countries that we [the United States] were at war with and not at war with."

    The organization, co-founded by Medea Benjamin, is planning to take part in "a national mobilization of nonviolent resistance" calling for the shutdown of the US Creech Air Force base in Indian Springs, Nevada.

    CODEPINK claims the US Creech Air Force Base is the country's first base remotely operating war drones in deadly operations across the globe, mostly in the Middle East.

    Data from the US-based Council on Foreign Relations says the US forces have carried out more than 500 targeted killing drone strikes since 2001, killing an estimated 3,674 militants, including 473 civilians.

    US Drone Strikes Overseas Violate International Law

    US drone attacks, carried out across the countries of the Middle East and elsewhere, contradict international law, Medea stated.

    "It violates the international law which is supposed to be based on the non-violation of the sovereignty of other nations and is supposed to be based on the policy of proportionality," Medea Benjamin said.

    The organization's co-founder also told Sputnik that according to various studies, "the vast majority of people killed are not high-level militants" and are mostly innocents.

    CODEPINK, "a women-led grassroots organization working to end US wars and militarism," has been working on the issue of US military drones usage for several years and is now planning to participate in a campaign against a US Air Force base in Nevada.

    The campaign for the shutdown of the US Creech Air Force base in Indian Springs, famous for being the base from where the US armed drones are being operated, is planned to take place from February 28 to March 6.

    The US-based Council on Foreign Relations think-tank says almost 500 civilians have been killed in US drone strikes since 2001.

    US Killer Drones Could End Up in Hands of Repressive Governments

    The US-made drones and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies could end up in the hands of repressive states, the Benjamin added.

    "The US has also now lifted restrictions on selling this technology to US allies, many of which are repressive governments, who have shown themselves to use technologies against their own people," Medea Benjamin told the news agency.

    She added that selling drones is very profitable for US manufacturers, as they are "simply interested in selling more and more of these deadly weapons."

    The anti-war activist also told Sputnik that the United States and Israel are "on the forefront of this new arms race in killer drones."

    Benjamin believes the United States would "regret" making the decision to sell US drones overseas.

    On February 17, the United States announced a new policy allowing the export of military drones that would ensure lawful and responsible use of the technology, while promoting US national security and foreign policy interests.

    The United States has carried out more than 500 targeted killing drone strikes since 2001, killing an estimated 3,674 militants, including 473 civilians, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Tags:
    Middle East, drone strikes, casualties, CODEPINK, United States
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