White House Releases Estimate of How Many Civilians Have Been Killed in Drone Strikes

droneThe Obama administration today released an estimate of how many civilians have been killed in U.S. drone strikes. (Yes, an estimate, not an exact number.)

According to CNN, the White House said that between 64 and 116 civilians were killed as a result of drone strikes between 2009 and 2015.

This apparently does not include casualties in active war zones like Iraq and Syria.

The White House also disclosed that anywhere between 2,372 and 2,581 militants were taken out in drone strikes.

And for supposedly transparent reasons, President Obama issued an executive order to make sure the government works to limit civilian casualties:

As President Obama has said, “All armed conflict invites tragedy. But by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.” In that spirit, this Executive Order applies to all of our operations, regardless of where they are conducted, and underscores that our legal and policy commitments regarding the protection of civilians are fundamentally consistent with the effective, efficient, and decisive use of force in pursuit of our Nation’s interests.

The drone program has come under serious scrutiny during Obama’s term in office, especially concerning the civilian casualties. A U.S. drone infamously targeted a wedding convoy in Yemem by mistake and 14 people were killed.

Surviving victims of that drone strike reportedly received over $1 million in compensation.

[image via Shutterstock]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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