While countries like Israel have been condemned the world over for inadvertently killing civilians when targeting terrorists, new data reveals that U.S drone strikes across the Middle East only killed around 3.5% of the terrorists they were targeting, while the rest of the casualties were civilians, including children.
The data, which was collated by the human rights group, Reprieve, notes that the US’s drone strike campaign in the Middle East has killed an unprecedented number of civilians, 96.5% versus only 3.5% of the terrorists who were targeted by the drones.
Reprieve claims that out of 1,147 people killed in targeted airstrikes, just 41 were terrorists as reported by The Guardian. The data, which comes from an in-depth analysis of reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, also gave a breakdown of U.S. drone strikes by country.
In Pakistan, 24 men over the past three years were targeted, but the drone strikes resulted in the death of 874 people. Numerous strikes were aimed at each target, the data shows, but despite the endless attempts, just six of the targets actually died in the drone strikes. Among the dead were 142 children.
In another example of “targeted killings” gone wrong, in Yemen, strikes on 17 targets killed 273 people, including seven children.
The Guardian cites a Council on Foreign Relations tally which assesses that 500 drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people.
Meanwhile, back in October, the White House declared that its policy banning drone strikes on civilians “does not apply” in the current campaign in Iraq and Syria, which is now named “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
In stark contrast to those figures as an example, during the recent conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, statistics showed that 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning that Israel achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio, almost unprecedented in urban warfare.
Even though State Department spokespeople like Josh Earnest told reporters during the recent Gaza war, “We would like the Israelis to take even greater steps to ensure the protection of civilians,” it seems that U.S. drone strikes killed hundreds of civilians, albeit mistakenly, but certainly indiscriminately.
[image Via Getty]