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.