President Donald Trump has quietly given the CIA new authority to carry out drone strikes, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move, which reportedly occurred shortly after Trump visited CIA headquarters on Jan. 21, is a departure from previous policy, under which the CIA conducted drone surveillance while the Department of Defense conducted drone strikes. This Obama-era policy required the Pentagon to report on all drone strikes it had conducted. But the CIA is not beholden to the same reporting standards and can now conduct strikes in secrecy, the Journal reports. The new policy reportedly focuses on Syria, where the CIA conducted a late-February drone strike against Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden. The CIA’s authority to conduct strikes in other nations is unclear. The Pentagon did not acknowledge a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan earlier this month, raising the possibility that this was an unreported CIA strike, the Journal reports.
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