Yemen: ‘ Suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed by US Drone Strike ‘

#AceNewsReport – YEMEN:June.10: Three suspected Al-Qaeda members were killed in an apparent US drone strike in Yemen’s jihadist-held southeastern port city of Mukalla, AFP reported.

The drone fired four missiles on three Al-Qaeda militants near the port of Mukalla, late on Tuesday, an official said.

The strike killed a “leading figure” within Al-Qaeda, according to the official.

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` Iran Confirms its has Copied and Built American Drone Captured in 2011 ‘

#AceNewsServices – TEHRAN – May 12 – Iran says it has “succeeded” in copying an American drone it captured in 2011 and will soon take the replicated aircraft on a test flight.

http://tinyurl.com/mnfn4lm

http://tinyurl.com/mnfn4lm

State television in Iran broadcast images Sunday apparently showing a replicated US RQ-170 Sentinel drone alongside the original one, according to the AFP.

“Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone’s secrets and copying them,” an officer in the footage reportedly said. “It will soon take a test flight.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was inspecting the aircraft during an exhibition organized by the country’s Revolutionary Guards air wing, said the unmanned drone is “very important for reconnaissance missions,” the AFP reports.

Tehran (AFP) – Iran said on Sunday it has succeeded in copying a US drone it captured in December 2011, with state television broadcasting images apparently showing the replicated aircraft.

Tehran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel in 2011 while it was in its airspace, apparently on a mission to spy on the country’s nuclear sites, media in the United States reported.

“Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone’s secrets and copying them. It will soon take a test flight,” an officer said in the footage.

The broadcast showed supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s visit to an exhibition organised by the powerful Revolutionary Guards air wing about Iran’s military advances, particularly regarding ballistic missiles and drones.

http://tinyurl.com/mnfn4lm

http://tinyurl.com/mnfn4lm

Footage showed two nearly identical drones.

“This drone is very important for reconnaissance missions,” Khamenei said, standing in front of the Iranian copy of the American unmanned aircraft.

Iran said it had taken control of the ultra hi-tech drone and forced it down in the desert where it was recovered nearly intact.

Iran has long claimed it managed to reverse-engineer the RQ-170 Sentinel, seized in December 2011 after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern border with Afghanistan, and that it’s capable of launching its own production line for the unmanned aircraft.

After initially saying only that a drone had been lost near the Afghan-Iran border, American officials eventually confirmed the Sentinel had monitored Iran’s military and nuclear facilities. Washington asked for it back but Iran refused, and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.

U.S. officials have said Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.

Iranian state television on Sunday also showed images that were apparently recorded by an Iranian drone flying over a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf, according to the AFP.

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` Drone Strike in Eastern Yemen Kills Six Al-Qaeda Suspects ‘

 

#AceWorldNews – SANAA – YEMEN – May 12 – A suspected U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen killed six Al Qaeda militants on Monday, military and security officials said.

 

English: Air Force officials are seeking volun...

English: Air Force officials are seeking volunteers for future training classes to produce operators of the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt Col Leslie Pratt) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The drone hit a car with Al Qaeda fighters in Marib province, in the Husoun al-Jalal area in Abieda Valley, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They said authorities were checking for the identities of the slain militants.

 

Last year and in early January, drone strikes killed more than 12 suspected Al Qaeda militants in the same area of Marib province.

 

The U.S. considers Yemen’s branch of Al Qaeda, also known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to be the most dangerous in the world. The group overran large swaths of territory in southern Yemen in 2011 but the military has pushed back and over the past few weeks, the army and security forces have stepped up an offensive to rout militants from their strongholds.

 

The U.S., which trains Yemen’s counterterrorism forces, has been waging a heavy campaign of drone strikes in the impoverished country against suspected Al Qaeda targets, launching more than 100 such strikes since 2002, according to the nonpartisan public policy institute New America Foundation.

 

However, civilian casualties in the drone strikes have sparked anger in the country and among human rights groups.

 

Yemen’s Interior Ministry corrected late Sunday an earlier press release saying three suspected Al Qaeda militants were killed in clashes with security forces not far from the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, during the day. The new statement said the three victims were civilians who died in the crossfire.

 

http://tinyurl.com/lptl7p2

http://tinyurl.com/lptl7p2

 

 

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“Homeland Security says `Flying Spy Drones’ inside the `US’ could be next step to Public Safety”

#AceSecurityNews says `DHS Wants to use Spy Drones Domestically for ‘Public Safety

Spy DroneThe United States already uses surveillance drones on its borders, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a hearing on Wednesday that flying unmanned aircraft inside the US could be the next step to ensuring “public safety.”

Sec. Napolitano weighed in on the topic of unmanned aerial vehicles during this week’s Committee on Homeland Security and suggested that implementing UAVs for domestic surveillance could the next step in the United States’ amazingly accelerating drone program.

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently considering ground rules that will outline how the FAA can govern domestic drone use, and by 2020 they expect to see 30,000 UAVs soaring through US airspace. Speaking before a House panel on Wednesday, though, Sec. Napolitano suggested that deploying UAVs proactively to put an extra set over locales nowhere near America’s border may in fact be the next move.

“With respect to Science and Technology, that directorate, we do have a funded project,” she said. “I think it’s in California, looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster, such as a forest fire, and how they could give us better information.”

In a transcript of the secretary’s testimony made available after her address, Napolitano admits that the US has expanded their use or surveillance drones on America’s border with Canada in recent years, now letting UAVs monitor 950 miles of Washington State’s boundary line.

Despite growing opposition from the American public of drones largely centred over privacy objections, the United States has continuously ramped up its drone program in recent years, both domestically and abroad. During the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York City earlier this month, activists with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said that US military now owns around 7,500 drones, which makes up around one-third of the Air Force’s entire arsenal.

“The FAA can give drone licenses to any agency that can prove that they can use them safely,” the EFF’s Trevor Timm told the crowd. Despite dozens of permits being handed out to law enforcement agencies and educational institutions in recent years, though, neither the security nor safety of these aircraft are believed to have been fully examined. In just the last few weeks, a Texas professor hacked a UAV in front of representatives from the DHS and, separately, a military drone crash-landed just outside of Washington, D.C.

Despite these incidents, the FAA and DHS are still spearheading an accelerated drone program.

Given Sec. Napolitano’s latest statements, though, the domestic use of drones for proactive surveillance could be coming sooner than previously though.

 

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#UK & #France : “Prepare to `Sign Drone Deal’ to `Free Themselves’ from the US Manufacturer’s”

#AceNewsServices says `Entente Lethal: Britain, France to sign military drone development deal’ according to RT.

Published time: January 30, 2014 14:05
Edited time: January 30, 2014 15:00
The unmanned Euro Hawk plane (AFP/DPA)

The unmanned Euro Hawk plane (AFP/DPA)

Britain and France are set to develop a new generation of armed drones which will free them of their dependence on US-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

President Francois Hollande will arrive in Britain on Friday for a summit with David Cameron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The two leaders, flanked by their foreign, defense, and energy ministers, are set to ink multiple deals for developing combat drones, missile systems and submarines. There are also plans to establish a joint expeditionary force which will be applicable for a wide range of scenarios, including high intensity operations.

Friday’s summit stems from the Lancaster House Treaties of 2010, in which Cameron and thenFrench President Nickolas Sarkozy agreed on a raft of measures in defense and security cooperation.

The UK currently operates its unmanned aerial vehicle program out of the United States due to restrictions for using the craft in European airspace. France, meanwhile, has bought drones from US-based General Atomics for its year-long military operation in Mali.

A Downing Street source told The Independent it is clear that unmanned combat systems such as drones are “where defense technology was going.” He added that UAVs are an “essential piece of kit” for both British and French forces.

Political Analyst Chris Bambery told RT that France and Britain’s decision to jointly ramp up their drone capabilities was seemingly inevitable given their place in the geopolitical order.

“Where the Americans go, the British and French need to follow, because [they] are essentially the American attack dogs in Europe. They’re the only two European powers who have the military capability that the Americans can sometimes use. If the Americans are investing in drones, inevitably, Britain and France is going to do the same.”

Last year, Britain and France agreed to launch a study into the feasibility of jointly developing drone technologies. Friday’s agreement is expected to push things forward, though the unmanned vehicles will not begin rolling out for at least three years.

British firm BAE Systems, Europe’s biggest defence company, is already working with France’s Dassault Aviation, the maker of French Rafale fighter jets, on drone development. Rolls Royce is also expected to be involved in the project.

Last month, all 28 EU member states agreed to cooperate on building surveillance drones to compete with US- and Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that now dominate the skies.

The drones are expected to be produced after 2020.

 

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UN:Human Rights Experts Call for Transparency in the Use of Armed Drones, Citing Risks of Illegal Use

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Expressing concern about the potential for illegal use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, two United Nations human rights experts today called on States to be transparent in their use, to investigate allegations of unlawful killings and to respect the full range of applicable international law.

“Drones are not inherently illegal weapons,” Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur Special Rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, acknowledged at a panel that discussed his new report as well as that of Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

“But we need to focus on their use,”  he stressed, pointing out that more and more States were likely to use the remote-controlled airborne weapons, which can act with lethal force almost simultaneously with detection of targets. “A world where multiple States use such weapons in secrecy is a less secure world.”

He urged a concerted effort to maintain protections of the full range of international law in the face of drone use, including human rights and humanitarian standards, the applications of which have become problematic as countries functionally widened the definition of battle zones and appropriate targets in the fight against terrorism and insurgencies.

Mr. Heyns said in addition, that the right to life must be protected as the supreme right, along with the right not to be deprived of life without strong legal rationales.

“Both States using drones and States on whose territory drones are used have their own obligations to respect international standards and prevent violations,” he said in his report,

The report emphasised that the legal framework for maintaining international peace as well as preserving the right to life makes up “a coherent and well-established system.”

Both he and Mr. Emmerson, agreed that crucial in maintaining such human rights protections was transparency on the part of countries that use drones. “I urge States to declassify, to the maximum extent possible, information relevant to their lethal extra-territorial counter-terrorism operations and to release its own data on the level of civilian casualties inflicted through the use of drones,” Mr. Emmerson said.

Mr. Emmerson said his investigation into legal aspects of drone strikes came in the wake of a joint statement by 16 States to consider the issue, following allegations of disproportionate civilian casualties and other deep concerns.

He showed a reconstruction of a drone strike that was alleged to have killed and wounded dozens of civilians when it hit a Jirga, or council of tribal elders in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

He said it was among a number of reconstructions that had examined particular strikes and which showed that it was possible to provide a degree of accuracy in resolving competing claims. “Greater transparency is quite possible,” he said, citing security experts who denied that such transparency cancelled the drone’s tactical advantages.

He maintained that in any case where civilians are alleged to have been killed by a drone, the country responsible for the strike must provide a detailed description of the incident as part of its duty to investigate.

United Nations Special Rapporteurs are independent, unpaid experts in their fields who report to the UN Human Rights Council.

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