“The Pentagon loosened its guidelines on avoiding civilian casualties during drone strikes, modifying instructions from requiring military personnel to ‘ensure’ civilians are not targeted to encouraging service members to ‘avoid targeting’ civilians.

In addition, instructions now tell commanders that collateral damage ‘must not be excessive’ in relation to mission goals, according to Public Intelligence, a nonprofit research group that analyzed the military’s directives on drone strikes.

…Human rights groups say such secrecy prevents scrutiny and accountability for civilian casualties. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have released reports focused  Pakistan and Yemen that say the strikes could be illegal and that the U.S. has killed more than 4,700 people, including more than 1,000 civilians.

Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones – Washington Times

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