A report compiled from classified documents and published by The Intercept in 2015 — claiming that nearly 90 percent of people killed in drone strikes in Afghanistan "were not the intended targets" — has recently attracted the attention of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden:
The document details a special operation in northeastern Afghanistan that where more than 200 people had been killed between January 2012 and February 2013 — only 35 were intended targets. The report predicted that target drone strike in countries like Yemen and Somalia, where the US has limited intelligence capabilities to confirm who exactly is killed, could mean the ratio between targets and civilian deaths "may be much worse."
A US-led drone strike in Somalia has claimed to have killed more than 150 al-Shabab militants. A spokesman for the Pentagon said the strike hit a training camp where a "large-scale" attack was being planned.
Initial assessments are that "more than 150 terrorist fighters were eliminated," said Captain Jeff Davis, spokesman for the Pentagon.
Under President Obama, 2009 Nobel Peace laureate, the U.S. has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries. https://t.co/RFb6Wvvsva— The Intercept (@the_intercept) March 9, 2016
However, a report published in The Intercept says despite claims by the Pentagon that the targeted drone strike in Somalia killed militants, there is "no evidence to support that assertion."
Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, argues that:
"Most US media reports contained nothing more than quotes from US officials about what happened, conveyed uncritically and with no skepticism of their accuracy."
The controversial US drone strike program in the Middle East and Africa aims to pinpoint and kill terrorists — however, recent documents revealed that the so-called "targeted killings" affected more than just terrorists.
Unsurprising but still very significant https://t.co/ub1XisSUB1— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 9, 2016
The deaths of 150 al-Shabab militants in Somalia occurred at a training camp north of the capital of Mogadishu. "We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and [African Union] forces," Captain Jeff Davies said.
Targeted killings were implemented by the US government following the al-Qaeda terrorist attack on New York in September 2011.
Al-Shabab is an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Following the recent attack in Somalia, Captain Jeff Davis said: "There was a sense that the [al-Shabab led] operational phase was about to happen."
The Intercept argues that there is still no evidence that the people killed in the drone strike were indeed militants — and not civilians.