Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama concedes use of drones in Iraq

A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile sitting on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport on June 13, 2010.

Source: Press TV

US President Barack Obama has acknowledged Washington's unauthorized surveillance drone operations in Iraq where the un-mandated move has sparked outrage among senior Iraqi officials and the public.

"The truth is we're not engaging in a bunch of drone attacks inside Iraq. There's some surveillance to make sure that our embassy compound is protected," said Obama in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube on Monday.

The confirmation came after The New York Times disclosed that the US State Department began operating some drones in Iraq last year on a trial basis to help protect the US embassy and that it stepped up their use after the last US troops left the country in December.

The report has infuriated senior Iraqi officials who say Washington must respect the country's sovereignty and consult with the government in Baghdad before carrying out any operations now that “the war is over.”

"I think that there's this perception that we're just sending in a whole bunch of strikes, willy nilly," Obama said, adding, "It is important for everybody to understand that this is kept on a very tight leash."

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also claimed that her department uses unmanned aerial vehicles to take pictures of US facilities and personnel abroad.

Meanwhile, The Times said that senior Iraqi officials told the newspaper that the US had not consulted with Iraqi government about the drone operations and that despite the official US withdrawal from Iraq, it maintains a strong presence in the country.

The daily added that since getting the approval for using surveillance drone aircraft over Iraq might be hard, given the political tensions between the two countries, the US continues drone operations in the country without a formal approval from Iraq.

It also said that Washington plans to take bids for the management of drone operations in Iraq over the next five years.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting on this post. Please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter for a wider discussion.

Russia Today (Live)

World News 2017

South Front Military Review 2017

Syria - News 2017

US News 2017

The Russian Perspective

Debate – Global Issues 2017

Current Affairs - Important Interviews – 2017

Important Information 2016 - 2017

Yemen News 2017

Turkey News 2017

Ukraine News 2016 - 2017

Palestine & Israeli Crime 2017

Iraq News 2017

Iran News 2016 - 2017

Important Documentaries

Viewpoint, Discussion & Opinion - 2017

Abby Martin – Empire Files

Global Economic News 2017

Egypt News 2016 - 2017

Libya News 2016 - 2017

Bahrain News 2016 - 2017

Sheik Imran Hosein - Islamic Eschatology

George Galloway – Comment & Opinion

English FA Cup 2016 – 2017

New Age Weather

Space News

Music for the Revolutionary Mind

Global Revolution LIVE!

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Japan’s 3 Nuclear Meltdowns STILL ongoing (News Censored)