A US drone strike in Syria has allegedly killed a high ranking al Qaeda leader. Unfortunately, any such claims from the White House and the Pentagon relating to drone strikes must be treated unverified rumors until independent investigations can be completed. The Biden administration killed a number of innocent civilians with an August drone strike in Kabul and then proceeded to lie about it for several weeks, claiming that they had instead eliminated an ISIS terrorist.
Drone strike claimed to have been a success
The September 20 drone strike supposedly killed regional al Qaeda leader Salim Abu-Ahmad in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.
Early reports from third party observers indicate that the strike did indeed kill a member of a Syrian militant group without causing any known civilian casualties.
If this is all true then it is an uncharacteristic success for the Biden administration, which has had an especially poor record with airstrikes so far.
Strikes targeting the border between Syria and Iraq earlier this summer killed members of an Iraqi militia affiliated with the Iraqi government.
The disastrous Kabul drone strike in late August has undoubtedly been the worst example of the recklessness with which Biden has used these weapons.
Drones, and the civilian casualties they frequently caused, were a major staple of the Obama foreign policy and the Biden agenda seems to be placing an equal emphasis on their use.
A record of carelessness
The Kabul strike followed quickly after the deadly airport attack which killed US troops and more than 100 Afghan civilians.
As with the latest strike, US military officials quickly proclaimed that they had eliminated a terrorist and prevented another deadly suicide bombing.
It is now known that the Pentagon was aware almost immediately that they had instead killed innocent civilians, something which they publicly denied.
The White House and Pentagon continued to lie about the drone strike until independent media investigations confirmed that none of the individuals targeted had anything to do with ISIS or any other terrorist group.
The incident reveals a complete lack of credibility and will cast doubt over any future claims of successful strikes launched by this administration.
The strike near Idlib appears to have been a success but given the carelessness with which drones have been used elsewhere that may have more to do with luck than with competence.