WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has welcomed a UN inquiry into the impact drone strikes and other targeted killings have on civilians in five countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine and Somalia. Ben Emmerson, UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, told a press conference  that he will lead a group of specialists who will examine covert drone attacks.

The expert said he will assess the extent of civilian casualties and the legality of strikes where there is no legal recognition of a conflict. He will report to the UN General Assembly later this year. In a statement responding to news of the UN inquiry, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “(US) government’s unrestrained and unaccountable use of killer drones has taken the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians and has generated deep hostility to our nation throughout the world. As a world leader, the consequences of our actions are far-reaching. Other nations will follow our lead, whether for good or ill. The ever-growing use of drones to kill anyone - including American citizens - anywhere in the world and for undeclared reasons leaves our nation open to charges that it is violating international laws of war.”