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Obama: Congress briefed on every drone strike

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May 23, 2013 02:34 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says his administration informs Congress about every drone strike America orders.

In a national security speech Thursday, Obama said the administration has briefed the appropriate congressional committees about all drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, such as in Yemen.

He says the briefings included the one instance in which an American citizen was the target: Anwar al-Awlaki. Officials say al-Awlaki was a leader in a branch of al-Qaida that operated in the Arabian peninsula, and that he had ties to at least three attacks planned or carried out on U.S. soil.

Obama spoke a day after the administration disclosed the deaths of three other Americans abroad in drone strikes.

Obama says he authorized the release of the information to encourage debate on the issue.