Interfax: Top Russian judge says U.S. drone operators ‘legitimate’ targets in war on terror

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Interfax – St. Petersburg, May 30, 2013) UAV operators are a legitimate enemy target in wartime, Russian Constitutional Court Chairman Valeriy Zorkin believes.

“A drone operator should have no illusions about his own security and impunity while controlling a UAV from a suburb of the US capital via satellite. He is a legitimate enemy target according to the legal views of his own commander-in-chief, who calls the armed fight against Al-Qa’idah and the Taleban a war,” Zorkin said on Thursday (30 May) in a statement read to participants in the 10th international conference Martens Readings on International Humanitarian Law, which is being held at the St Petersburg State University.

In the view of the Russian Constitutional Court chairman, space communication channels – even if they are simultaneously used for non-military purposes, such as the transfer of technically important information of a humanitarian nature – also become legitimate targets in wartime.