NEW YORK – U.S. President Donald Trump has given additional authority to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) enabling them to launch drone strikes against suspected terrorists.

The move would mark a departure from the drone policies followed during the administration of former President Barrack Obama which focused on limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing U.S. officials.

It added that the latest measure could also lead to a “turf war” between the CIA and the Defence Department.

The decision, never disclosed before, could also harm the cooperative approach, previously common, Presstv reported.

The US has been conducting drone strikes in several countries, including Pakistan and Yemen targeting banned outfits.

The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush in 2004, were escalated under the Obama administration.

The US claims the airstrikes target members of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and other militants, but according to local officials and witnesses, civilians have also been the victims of the attacks in many cases.

Meanwhile, spokesmen for the Pentagon and CIA declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal. – APP