Taking complete responsibility of all counter-terrorism operations, US President Barack Obama extended apology for the unintentional killings of an American and an Italian national in the drone strikes that took place in January at an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan near the Afghan border.
In his speech at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Obama said, “We all hemorrhage when we shed an American life. We all regret when any kind of innocent life is taken. We don’t take this job gently. And I understand that each one of you comprehend the size of what we do and the stakes involved as well as these typically aren’t abstractions and also we’re not cavalier concerning just what we do.”
The deaths of the two people, who were kept as hostages by the terror outfit, came as a fresh setback for the long-running program of US drone strike, which intends to combat terror groups in Afghanistan Pakistan and other parts of world. The program has often witnessed criticism in those countries as well as from civil liberties groups in the US.
The American President also said that the government has ordered a full review of the matter in order to ensure that such mistakes are not repeated in future.
“I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families,” Obama said.
Among the deceased hostages who lost their lives in the January drone strike were aid workers Giovanni Lo Porto and Warren Weinstein. While Porto was an Italian who went missing in 2012 in Pakistan, Weinstein was an American national who was held as hostage by al Qaeda since 2011.
Adam Gadahn, an al Qaeda member in the US who was charged with treason in the country, was killed in a separate drone strike carried on an al Qaeda camp five days later.