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    US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile setting off from its hangar at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, November 27, 2009.

    US Drone Program Fuels Support for Daesh - Ex-State Department Official

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    US low drone casualty estimates are an attempt to cover up the deaths of innocent people and the ineffectiveness of a program that has helped fuel support for al-Qaeda and Daesh throughout the Muslim world, former US Department of State political officer Matthew Hoh told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Friday, Obama announced new measures to reduce civilian casualties resulting from counterterrorism strikes, which killed up to 116 noncombatants from 2009 through 2015, according to US intelligence estimates.

    "Since the [US] drone campaigns have begun, instability and war have increased throughout the Muslim countries that the United States is bombing, and international terror groups, most especially al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, have grown and spread," Hoh told Sputnik on Friday.

    Increased support for terror groups, Hoh noted, is a direct result of the US "brutal and terrifying" drone campaign against civilian populations.

    "Even if the drone campaign was limited in its killing of civilians, which it is not, it would still be a failed and counterproductive policy," Hoh observed.

    The White House estimate of between 64 and 116 civilians killed by drone strikes is nothing less than a deliberate lie, Hoh argued.

    The US estimates represent the worst type of government propaganda designed to cover up the deaths of innocent people, Hoh claimed, because numerous well-respected human rights groups, journalists and policy organizations have reported much higher figures.

    "We know from US government whistleblowers that 90 percent of those killed by US drone strikes are not targets and that the US government considers all men in the drone strike areas, who are not children or elderly, to be viable targets," Hoh noted.

    Equally galling, Hoh suggested, is the White House accusation that those who disagree with the official US government position are guilty of recirculating terrorist group propaganda.

    "That's vitriolic nonsense characteristic of despotic and repressive regimes and unfit for a nation like the United States," he concluded.

    Research conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that more than 3,000 people, including nearly 500 civilians, have been killed by drones under the Obama administration.

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    Tags:
    drone, Daesh, Barack Obama, United States
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