US denies it acted contrary to international law

North AmericaUS denies it acted contrary to international law

WASHINGTON: In response to two human rights groups’ reports which accused the US of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants in Pakistan and Yemen, the US denied its drone strikes there and elsewhere infringed international law and said it did all it could to avoid civilian casualties.

In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “We are reviewing these reports carefully,” adding that “To the extent these reports claim that the US has acted contrary to international law, we would strongly disagree.”

   

“The administration has repeatedly emphasised the extraordinary care that we take to make sure counter-terrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable law.”

The spokesman further said that by deciding to use drone aircraft against terror suspects, rather than sending in troops or using other weapons, Washington was “choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.”

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are jointly calling on the US Congress to fully investigate the cases the two organisations have documented as well as other potentially unlawful strikes, and to disclose any evidence of human rights violations to the public.

The groups demanded that those responsible for unlawful killings should be appropriately disciplined or prosecuted. They called on US President Barack Obama to provide a full legal rationale for targeted killings in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere.

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