President Joe Biden has stopped drone strikes outside US war zones by reversing the policies of his predecessor Donald Trump. He granted military freedom in countries like Somalia.
All planned drone strikes against groups outside Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq must be approved by the White House, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
He described the precautions as “preliminary guidelines” issued “to ensure that the US President has a full view and check of the key steps proposed”. “It is not meant like permanent and also does not mean an end to the strike,” he said.
“We are clearly having look and focusing on the continuing threat posed by violent extremist and terror organizations. And of course we will continue to commit to working with international partners to counter this threat,” he said.
Media reports that after Biden took office on January 20, the new guidelines had secretly leaked to military commanders. But came to light in recent days.
‘Drone strikes’ policy imposed and aftermaths
Since his first day at the White House in 2016, Trump has lifted control imposed by his predecessor Barack Obama on armed operations against extremist groups, claiming he trusts commanders on the ground.
The attacks then multiplied rapidly. The only mode of operation in some countries where a handful of US forces were deploying to support local governments. Areas such as Somalia, where the United States is fighting the Al Shabab group. Also in Libya, where they counter Daesh (ISIS).
Although the military claims their attacks are “surgical”. NGOs say attacks often result in civilian casualties and undermine their effectiveness in fighting extremism.
The first public report on US military operations in Somalia released in February. Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine recalled that part of Africa’s declared mission in 2021. It is to ensure that al-Shabab, ISIS and other all terrorist groups in the region sufficiently “degraded that they cannot do significant harm to US interests”.
But Fine wrote, “Despite ongoing air strikes on Somalia and American support to African partner forces, al-Shabab appears to be a growing threat trying to invade the US homeland”. At least 10 people has killed on Friday when a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in Mogadishu. Attack alleged by al-Shabab.