State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf has said no timeline could be provided to end drone attacks.
Briefing the newsmen in Washington, Harf said the US had made significant progress against core al Qaeda by using drones as counterterrorism tools, but “as we make that progress the need to use these tools will, of course, be reduced”.
She said Secretary of State John Kerry had reinforced the changes that US expected to take place in the programme over time, but there was no exact timeline to provide. “Obviously, a lot of this is driven by the situation on the ground,” she said.
“The goal here is, of course, that as we have success against al Qaeda – which we’ve talked about a lot the success we’ve had in this region of the world against core al Qaeda – that the tool will obviously – we need to use this tactic less going forward, and that’s what the secretary was referencing,” she said.
“I have no exact timeline to provide. Again, the secretary was making the point that we have made, as we’ve talked about, significant progress against core al Qaeda in this region, and that we will continue to do so – that they are a shadow of what they once were, and I think he was reinforcing that point,” she maintained.