US defends drone programme

2013-10-22 21:01
Jay Carney

Jay Carney (AFP)

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Washington - The White House Tuesday defended the US use of drones against terrorist suspects and dismissed claims by human rights groups that it had violated international law.

Spokesperson Jay Carney said the US was reviewing reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on civilian deaths in the drone programme, but noted a "wide gap" between US assessments of civilians killed and non-governmental reports.

"US counterterrorism operations are precise, they are lawful and they are effective," he said.

President Barack Obama was committed to transparency about US drone use, Carney said, noting the administration had adopted policies that showed it took civilian casualties seriously.

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