Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:22PM
A US drone aircraft lands at Afghanistan's Jalalabad Airport
A US drone aircraft lands at Afghanistan's Jalalabad Airport

US President Donald Trump has given the CIA new authority to launch drone strikes in Washington’s so-called war on terror, US officials say.

The announcement was made in a Monday report by the Wall Street Journal, citing US officials.

The move would mark a departure from drone policies pursued in the administration of former President Barrack Obama and focused on “limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role,” according to the daily.

The measure could also lead to a “turf war” between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, it added.

The decision, never disclosed before, could also harm the “cooperative approach,” previously common.

The US has been conducting drone strikes in several countries, including Yemen and Pakistan.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush in 2004, were escalated under Obama.

The US claims the airstrikes target members of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and other militants, but according to local officials and witnesses, civilians have also been the victims of the attacks in many cases.