According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 50 drone strikes were carried out under the George W. Bush administration, while around 500 have been conducted by the Obama administration.
The drone strikes carried out under the current US president have taken place primarily in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.
While drone usage has declined significantly in the past two years, particularly in Pakistan, earlier this year two people, an Italian and an American, who were being held hostage by al-Qaeda operatives were mistakenly killed in an airstrike by the United States.
While drone killings largely remain state secrets, making a tally near impossible, at least 4,700 people have died in US drone strikes, according to a 2013 estimate by Senator Lindsey Graham. At least four had been American citizens, with the hostage this year bringing that total to five.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, children are also often mistakenly killed in these strikes. They report that 172-207 children have been killed in Pakistan, 8-18 in Yemen, as many as seven in Somalia, and as many as 20 in Afghanistan.
“The drone fired two missiles at a house believed to be in the use of foreign militants. Six people were killed on the spot and four others suffered injuries.” local tribesman in the Datta Khel area told The News.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement following the attack and reiterating their condemnation of the drone strikes as violations of territorial sovereignty and international law.