New York Times has reported that new military and CIA drone operators generally must obtain advance permission from President Biden, who adjusted the rules for such strikes in last October, to target a suspected militant outside a conventional war zone – including Libya.
The newly-approved rules say the strikes must have “near certainty” at the moment of any strike that civilians will not be injured.
The 15-page rules also limit such drone strikes to situations in which the operators deem “infeasible” any option of capturing the targeted person alive in a commando raid.
A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to New York Times to discuss sensitive security matters, said the US government currently considers only two countries — Iraq and Syria, where operations against the remnants of ISIS continue — to be areas of active hostilities, where military operators have greater latitude to order airstrikes.
“That means the rules apply everywhere else the United States has carried out drone attacks in recent years, including Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and a semi-tribally controlled region of Pakistan.” New York Times said, adding that the last strikes on Libya using drones were in 2019.