Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

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Droning On: A New Era of Targeted Killings Outside of Armed Conflict

Dec 6, 2020 · 10 min read

By Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo

The pinpoint killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, marked a significant evolution in the employment of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Conducting a targeted killing via UAV strike outside of conventional armed conflict zones against a prominent state official during peacetime was an unprecedented act for the U.S. government. UAVs, colloquially known as ‘drones’, have undergone a drastic development since the 1990s...