FACT CHECK: Did Obama Order A Drone Strike On A Wedding That Killed 10 Women And 23 Children?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 5,000 times claims former President Barack Obama ordered a drone strike on a wedding that killed 23 children and 10 women in Wech Baghtu, Afghanistan.



Verdict: False

The Wech Baghtu airstrike, which occurred in November 2008, occurred under the Bush administration.

Fact Check:

The U.S. has used drones to carry out airstrikes against militant targets since at least 2002, ProPublica reported. The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that more than 500 drone strikes took place during the Obama administration alone, with most targeting Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.

A viral image of a screen grabbed tweet alleges that Obama ordered a deadly drone strike on an Afghan wedding in Wech Baghtu. The original tweet, which has more than 2,900 likes, uses the alleged Obama-era strike to justify President Donald Trump’s ordering of the drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

“I’m old enough to remember when Obama droned a wedding in Wech Baghtu Afghanistan to take out some low level insurgents, killing 23 children, 10 women and wounding 27 others, not a damn word from congress,” states the tweet. “#Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of US troops, so STFU.”

However, the post gets the administration wrong. The airstrike, which occurred on Nov. 3, 2008, actually happened during the Bush administration, according to The New York Times. It’s unclear whether a drone carried out the airstrike, but it did kill 33 women and children, reported NBC News.

Obama didn’t take office until Jan. 20, 2009, more than two months after that strike took place. (RELATED: Is The US Spending $50 Billion A Year In Afghanistan?)

In 2013, the U.S. carried out a drone strike on a wedding party that it mistook for an al-Qaeda convoy in Yemen. That Obama-era drone strike killed at least 13 people, including the groom’s son, according to The Washington Post.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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