A prominent American journalist says recent studies show that 98 percent of people killed in US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan are innocent civilians.
“The idea that they’re not civilians killed is silly. The British independent journalists have investigated this very carefully and there was just a recent study by Stanford University and New York University that studied the drone hits and what they found was that only about 2% of the casualties were considered militant leaders and that the rest were either civilians or sort of collateral damage,” said Foreign Policy in Focus columnist Conn Hallinan in a recent Press TV interview.
The comments come as a new study conducted by Stanford and New York Universities shows that only one in 50 people killed by US assassination drones are militants in Pakistan while the rest are innocent civilians.
The report concludes that Washington is terrorizing women and children as well as men round the clock with its pilotless aircraft attacks.
“This shows that drone strikes go much further than simply killing innocent civilians. An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies,” said Clive Stafford, who participated in interviewing people for the study.
Meanwhile, CIA Director David Petraeus is striving to obtain the White House’s approval for a significant expansion of the US spy agency’s fleet of assassination drones, a move which has raised concern among US officials about the CIA’s increased involvement in lethal operations.
Pakistani tribal regions are the target of US terror drones, with Washington claiming that its unmanned aircraft are targeting militants. However, casualty figures indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults.
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults.
"The idea that we are not killing any civilians is laughable and it really hasn’t even been accepted very much in the United States so when the CIA came out with that statement nobody paid a whole lot of attention to it. It’s obviously false,” Hallinan concluded.