President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that revoked an Obama-era policy requiring United States intelligence officials to report civilian deaths in drone attacks outside active war zones.
Former President Barack Obama, put the policy in place in 2016 as part of an effort to be more transparent about drone attacks after he had dramatically increased their use against armed groups in mostly Muslim countries.
The White House released the text of his executive order.
An administration official said that this action eliminates superfluous reporting requirements, requirements that do not improve government transparency, but rather distract their intelligence professionals from their primary mission.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the US has carried out 6,786 drone attacks since 2004, killing up to 12,105 people, including as many as 1,725 civilians, of which between 253 and 397 were children.
Reports say that the Obama policy had required the US director of national intelligence to release, by May 1 each year, an unclassified summary of the number of attacks undertaken by the US against targets outside areas of active hostilities.