U.S. drone strike kills six in Pakistan

While debate around Syria rages, don't forget we remain in a boundless war


Natasha Lennard
September 6, 2013 5:00PM (UTC)

On Friday, reports from Pakistani officials claim that six people were killed by a U.S. drone in a suspected militant hideout in the North Waziristan tribal region.

While the news cycle fixates on likely U.S. military action against Syria, remember that our limitless and borderless drone wars continue. As the AP noted, Pakistani officials say the "identity and nationality of the slain men was not immediately known."

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Whether the exact identity of the suspected militants was known to the U.S. is not clear. Regularly U.S. drone strikes are based on no more than recognizing "signature" behavior of militants; as the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism notes, based on local reports, U.S. drone strikes may have killed up to 926 Pakistani civilians since 2003. In a speech earlier this year, President Obama announced shifts in the CIA's drone program such that "signature strikes" -- wherein civilians have been conflated with militants all too often -- would play a smaller part in the drone program.


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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