Landmines important tool U.S. troops need: Pentagon chief

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that landmines were an important tool that U.S. forces needed, as President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to relax Obama-era restrictions on the U.S. military’s use and acquisition of them.

“Landmines are an important tool that our forces need to have available need to them in order to ensure mission success and in order to reduce risk to forces,” Esper said during a press conference with his Italian counterpart.

“That said, in everything we do we also want to make sure that these instruments, in this case landmines, also take into account both the safety of employment and the safety to civilians and others after a conflict,” Esper added. (Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)