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Drone operator says he’s haunted by time in squadron that killed 1,626 by remote control: ‘The number made me sick to my stomach’

Drone operator says he’s haunted by time in squadron that killed 1,626 by remote control- ‘The number made me sick to my stomach’

A former U.S. air force drone operator has described how he is haunted by his time as a “remote killer” functioning in “zombie mode” in missions over Afghanistan and Iraq that claimed more than 1,600 lives.
Brandon Bryant, a retired airman who operated remote-controlled Predator aircraft from U.S. bases in Nevada and New Mexico, offers a rare military insider’s perspective on the U.S. drone programme in an interview with GQ magazine.

In one episode that will increase controversy about allegations of civilian casualties, he described monitoring a drone strike on a mud compound in Afghanistan and seeing the figure of what he was certain was a child just before it was struck by a Hellfire missile.

When he expressed those concerns to an intelligence observer overseeing the operation, the response came back: “Per the review, it’s a dog.” Mr Bryant replayed the shot repeatedly on tape and said that he was certain it was a child, not a dog.

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