Washington: President Joe Biden suspended drone strikes outside the U.S. combat area, which changed the policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who was in Somalia and other countries. Military control.
Any drone strikes planned against jihadist groups outside of Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq will have to be approved by the White House, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
He described the measure as “interim guidance” that was issued “to ensure that the president has full visibility on proposed significant actions.”
“It s not meant to be permanent and it doesn t mean a cessation” of strikes, he told a news conference.
“We are clearly focused on the persistent threat of violent extremist organizations. And we re clearly still going to be committed to working with international partners to counter those threats,” he said.
The New York Times said that the new guidelines had been secretly passed to military commanders after Biden took office on January 20, but they were not revealed until recently.
From the first day of his tenure in the White House in 2016, Trump has revoked the control measures taken by his predecessor Barack Obama over armed operations against jihadist extremist groups, saying that he trusts the ground. Commander.
Drone strikes quickly multiplied after that, becoming the only form of operations in some countries where only a handful of US special forces were deployed in support of local governments, such as in Somalia, where the US has been battling the al-Shebab Islamist group, or in Libya, where they have targeted Islamic State (IS).
Even though the military says its strikes are “surgical,” NGOs have said the attacks often cause civilian casualties, undermining their efficacy in combating extremism.
The Pentagon’s Acting Inspector Glenn Finn recalled in his first public report on the U.S. military operations in Somalia in February that the established mission of the African Air Force Command is to ensure that by 2021, the Hebabs, Terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Somalia have been “downgraded enough so that they will not cause significant harm to the interests of the United States.”
But, Fine wrote, “despite continued US airstrikes in Somalia and US assistance to African partner forces, Al-Shebab appears to be a growing threat that aspires to strike the US homeland.”
On Friday, when a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in the Somalia capital Mogadishu, at least 10 people were killed. Shebab claimed it was an attack.