Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:52AM
US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

At a news conference after a nuclear security summit in Washington, US President Barack Obama was asked about an increase in drone operations in Libya, Syria, Somalia and elsewhere.

He admitted the United States should take responsibility for civilian deaths, but has taken steps to avoid them over the past several years. The US has been criticized for flawed intelligence.  A drone attack in Yemen caused global uproar after it hit a wedding party, killing women and children. In 2015, a gunship “mistakenly” opened fire on a charity hospital in Afghanistan, burning patients to death in their beds.

The CIA uses unmanned aircraft for airstrikes and spying missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. Washington claims they target militant groups, but local officials and witnesses say civilians are the main victims in most cases. Rights groups are especially concerned about highly controversial “signature strikes,” where people with unknown identities are targeted by the CIA based on looks, suspicious behavior, or other so-called “signatures.”