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Trump Reportedly Restores CIA Drone Strike Authority

Trump Reportedly Restores CIA Drone Strike Authority

Trump's decision is a change from the policy implemented by former President Barack Obama, who limited the paramilitary role of the CIA, Monday's Wall Street Journal report quoted an unidentified source as saying.

Former President Barack Obama had halted USA drone strikes in the last eight month of his administration.

In May of 2013, Obama delivered a speech at the National Defense University vowing that drone strikes would be launched only against "terrorists" who posed "a continuing and imminent threat to the American people", and only under conditions of "near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured".

In particular, it will allow the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency more autonomy to launch strikes against al-Qaeda and Isil terrorists without needing White House approval.

As for Donald Trump's administration point of view, their main goal is only to "accelerate our operations against terror groups, and be more nimble and agile in our speed of response", according to Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis.

U.S. drone strikes were halted in the last eight months of the Obama Administration.

United States anti-missile system's deployment underway in S.Korea
McMaster and senior South Korean presidential official Kim Kwan-jin held a phone conversation after the missile firings. North Korea criticises the drills and has previously conducted missile launches to coincide with them.

"The Trump administration is also giving the military more authority to conduct operations on its own without first getting a sign off from the Pentagon or the White House", the report said. This would represent a major change in the way the USA approaches drone strikes, as well as other targeted operations.

The CIA works under secret authorities and doesn't have to announce the strikes, the targets and unintended casualties, which the Pentagon did.

Speaking to reporters, Col. Brett Sylvia, U.S. Task Force Strike commander in Mosul said, "As we've made our way into Mosul now, what we've seen is that they use the smaller drones... they're up for, you know, 45 minutes, an hour so, and even that evolution has transitioned in the beginning of the Mosul campaign from - from just reconnaissance to they are actually putting munitions in them".

In a report last summer, the Obama White House admitted to killing between 64 to 116 civilians in drone operations outside so-called established war zones, although advocacy groups estimated that the true figured were much higher.

Trump has already granted a request to declare parts of Yemen to be areas of "active hostilities", where the rules around strikes require less coordination with Washington, the Times said.

This requirement "has made it much harder to provide air or drone support to US allies when they are under fire from groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda in places such as Yemen, Libya and Somalia", officials say.


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