BEIJING, Dec. 31 — Former US drone operators have more than once exposed the killings of innocent committed by the US military. In fact, a certain number of Afghans, employed by the US military, used to operate the US drone to perform air strikes. Now, they were left behind by the US, living in fear for punishment. Some of them stood up and exposed the sin to the media. Considering their safety, the interviewees required their faces to be blurred.
Jamal: “We are required to operate the ScanEagle drone for 8 hours in the daytime, and another 8 hours at night. A US company signed an agreement with the then Afghan government, and the US company hired us as operators of the ScanEagle drone.”
From 2017 to August 2021 (when the US withdrew all troops from Afghanistan), Jamal had been working for the US military as operator of ScanEagle drone.
Jamal: “Each of us conducted about 17 to 20 drone strikes every month. Sometimes more, but definitely no less.”
According to Jamal, he had no way of knowing whether his drone strikes had caused civilian casualties.
Jamal: “During our operations, nobody informed us of any civilian casualties, or told us that we hit the wrong targets. We had no access to such data.”
By the name of “Counter-Terrorism”, US military kills innocents with drones
In the past years, by the name of “Counter-Terrorism”, the United States has abused its drones to wage strikes on other countries, leading to massive civilian casualties.
According to statistics, from 2010 to 2020, in Afghanistan alone, the US has conducted 13,072 drone strikes, causing numerous deaths of civilians; in the past 20 years, the US has conducted more than 90,000 air-strikes on countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of civilians killed during such strikes very likely reached up to 48,000.
As the US hastily withdrew all its troops from the country in this August, Afghans who worked for the US, including Jamal, were left behind. Staying in his own country, Jamal now lives in the fear of revenge or punishment for his history as an operator of US drone.
Jamal: “I hide from place to place. I can’t meet my family and I don’t even know how they’re doing now. Nobody can help us and I’m living in fear.”
Several former US military drone operators had also stood out to accuse the US military of using drones in the battlefield to kill innocent people indiscriminately. These drone operators disclosed that they manipulated drones remotely in the US and flew these drones over many countries in the Middle East and some countries in Africa, as if they were playing a game in which they can blow up targets thousands of miles away with a simple click of button.
Former American drone operator Brandon Bryant: “We are just told to point, click and shoot. The US military takes persons like me in, and put them in a room and teach them to kill with the press of button, that really makes life cheap.”
Former American drone operator Michael Haas: “This isn’t a video game, in that, when you fail, when you kill the wrong guy, there is not a checkpoint and you reload and start over again. Those people stay dead.”
Many American drone operators suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) after participating in missions that slaughtered innocent people without being informed of the truth.
Editor’s Note: This article is originally published on the news.cctv.com, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online.