MILITARY

Experts: Attacks that killed Americans appear in bounds of US law despite 'deadly mistakes'

  • President Barack Obama walks away the podium after speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama walks away the podium after speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The president took full responsibility for deaths of American, Italian hostages, expresses apologies. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (The Associated Press)

Legal experts say the U.S. drone strikes that killed Americans appear to have been within the bounds of U.S. law, despite what the president calls "deadly mistakes."

A previous strike that killed Americans resulted in a lawsuit against the Obama administration. But that strike had specifically targeted a U.S. citizen. The suit was dismissed.

The White House says an operation in January was focused on al-Qaida compounds without knowledge that two American militants, an American hostage and an Italian hostage were present.

Congress gave the president authority to carry out military action against al-Qaida in 2001.

Still, the incidents raise questions about the U.S. intelligence surrounding drone strikes and whether the administration is living up to Obama's standard of "near-certainty" that no civilians will be injured or killed.