Tag Archives: drone strike

Al-Shabaab Rejects US Claim of 150 Killed in Drone Strikes

by Jason Ditz

Somali Islamist faction al-Shabaab confirmed US claims of a series of drone strikes against one of their training camps, but insisted US claims of “over 150” militants killed was far overstated, and simply “American propaganda.”

The Shabaab spokesman insisted that the group never has that many fighters concentrated into a single spot because of the threat of imminent attacks like the one the US launched over the weekend.

[RELATED: Pentagon: Drone Strike in Somalia Kills Over 150 Militants]

Witnesses confirmed that there were major explosions and a lot of fire, but were unable to confirm or deny the death toll. Somali commanders claimed that over 200 fighters were certainly killed in the incident, but didn’t provide any evidence for that.

The Pentagon claimed the attack on the base was “defensive in nature,” and that they believe the militants were an imminent threat against US troops, though they did not say where those US troops actually were.

Breaking: “Jihadi John” Reportedly Targeted By U.S. Airstrike

Washington D.C.-  Multiple media sources are reporting tonight that the U.S. military launched an airstrike, targeting Jihadi John.  At this point, U.S. officials say it is unclear if that strike actually killed the man who’s real name is Mohammed Emwhazi.

The Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi turned into one of Britain’s most notorious terrorists, wanted dead or alive, after murdering British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the strike took place around the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

“We are assessing the results of tonight’s operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate,” Cook said.

In July, multiple media sources claimed that Jihadi John had  reportedly fled Islamic State-controlled territory, fearing that the publicity surrounding him will eventually result in his head served on a plate by his fellow terrorists.

 Interestingly, U.S. media jumped all over the story of only one high profile terrorist possibly being targeted by U.S. drone strike while completely ignoring that Russian forces helped to end, this week, an ISIS siege of a key air base in Aleppo.
As we reported, the siege had been ongoing since 2013, with ISIS forces surrounding the facility as around 1000 Syrian troops clung to their positions awaiting liberation. Reporters have theorized that ISIS’ infamous brutality might have prevented the Syrian troops from surrendering out of fears that they might face the types of executions that have befallen ISIS’ widely-publicized victims.

Syrian state TV claimed that dozens of ISIS fighters died in the battle, and a soldier who had been defending the base said that hundreds of extremist corpses were found around its perimeter.

 

Game of Drones: Majority of Americans Support Strikes, While Uninformed

Washington D.C.- Support for American drone strikes overseas has grown to over 60% according to a new AP-/FK poll. A majority of Americans believe that the use of drones overseas to eliminate or kill terror targets is not only a good use of technology, but also serves to protect our men and women in uniform. The poll found that six in ten Americans favored using drones “to target and kill people belonging to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda overseas,” with only 13 percent opposed and 24 percent neutral. Support among Democrats was at 60 percent and reached 72 percent among Republicans.

According the same poll, fewer Americans support those same strikes when they are asked if innocent Americans could be killed during a strike. 43% of those polled say that American casualties are “unacceptable”.

“Americans are programmed to think they are better than everyone else,” Marjorie Cohn, Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson University told Ben Swann. Cohen noted that mainstream media does not show the results of drone strikes, making it easy for the public to believe they are precise, clinical and don’t cause civilian casualties.

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Interestingly, the AP/GFK poll did not ask respondents about the use of drones when there are foreign civilian casualties. Nor did it ask respondents about whether they support the use of drones even if it creates “blowback” or retaliation for innocent people killed.

Deputy chief minister of Pakistan's Nort

“Americans are told, ‘We’re getting the bad guys, no Americans are getting killed, so naturally they are going to support [drone strikes],” Cohn said. “They don’t realize that less than 2 percent of people killed by drone strikes are high-level Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, and that nearly a quarter of those killed are civilians. That makes people in other countries resent us even more. It makes us even more vulnerable to terrorism.”

Watch Ben Swann’s Full Interview With Marjorie Cohn Here: