The statement detailed alleged changes in policy, which are reported to have been made to Obama-era guidelines but have not been confirmed by the current government.
The Trump administration, embroiled in scandals and resignations, has not signalled it will make changes to drone policy known.
The reported changes include a relaxing of the “imminent threat requirement”, which means the US may select targets outside of armed conflict, the standard of requiring “near certainty” that the target is present, and an increased role for the CIA.
Daniel Mahanty, director of the US programme for the Center for Civilians in Conflict, told Al Jazeera these “changes, and the fact that the administration refuses to make them public, should concern Americans and the many countries upon which the US depends for cooperation and support”.
Furthermore, the relaxations “increase the risk that more civilians will lose their lives or livelihoods with very little recourse to pursue