The US drone program has killed at least 2,400 people around the world since President Barack Obama came to office five years ago, according to a new report.
Across Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Obama administration has launched more than 390 drone strikes since 2009, eight times as many as were launched in the entire Bush administration, according to the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).
The escalating drone strikes under Obama’s presidency have also killed nearly six times as many people as were killed under former president George W. Bush, TBIJ figures show.
In Pakistan alone, between 416 and 951 civilians, including 168 to 200 children, have been killed since 2009, TBIJ estimates.
Under Obama, the CIA and the Pentagon have launched at least 58 drone strikes on Yemen, killing more than 281 people, including at least 24 reported civilians.
In 2012, Bureau records showed drones reportedly killed at least 236 civilians – including 61 children. According to a leaked CIA record, the US often did not know who it was killing.
In October, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International fiercely criticized the Obama administration’s secretive drone program and called for investigations into the deaths of drone victims with no apparent connection to terrorism.
The United Nations says the US drone strikes in Pakistan and some other countries pose a growing challenge to the rule of international law.
In September 2012, a report by the Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law gave an alarming account of the effect that killer drone strikes have on ordinary people in Pakistan’s tribal areas.[Press TV]