New figures on UK drone use in Iraq and Syria

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released new data on UK drone operations in Iraq and Syria to Drone Wars in response to a Freedom of Information request. The data covers Reaper operations in Iraq and Syria in the third quarter of the year (June – Sept 2015) as well as new data on British Tornado missions and strikes since the beginning of operations against ISIS.

The table below give details of UK drone operations in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the year (data for whole operation is here). Note figures here use the ‘UK methodology’ for calculating number of strikes (see more below). Read more

UK air and drone strikes in Iraq – a look at the data

Since British military operations against ISIS began last September the MoD has been publishing brief updates of its military activity in Iraq on its website (see here). These updates include some details of strikes undertaken by both British Reaper drones and the UK’s dedicated strike aircraft, the Tornado. We now have 12 months of updates (Sept 14 – Aug 15) and while most but not all strikes have been included in these updates it does allow us to make some initial comparisons.

!UK strikes iraq-sep-Aug15

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FoI release shows high tempo of strikes in Iraq as Defence Select Committee urges more action

Drone Wars UK has obtained the first detailed figures for use of armed British drones in Iraq and Syria  since UK operations began in October 2014. A Ministry of Defence (MoD) response to a Freedom of Information request from the group show that the UK flew just over 100 armed Reaper missions in Iraq in the ten weeks up until 31 December 2014, launching 38 Hellfire missiles. Although Parliament expressly granted authorisation only for the use of military force in Iraq, 5 Reaper flights took place over Syria although no weapons were launched. Read more

UK airstrikes in Iraq hit 100 – one third by drones

kobani-strikeOn Monday 12 January the UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon told the House of Commons that there had been 99 UK airstrikes in Iraq since the beginning of airstrikes on 22 October. On Tuesday 13 January the MoD reported a further strike bringing the total to 100. By our calculations, using reports published by the MoD on their website, approximately one-third have been carried out by the UK’s armed Reaper drones (see table below). Read more

New figures show UK increasingly relying on drones for strikes in Afghanistan

Newly released Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures show that the UK is increasingly relying on its armed Reaper drones to carry out attacks in Afghanistan.  The figures show that the use of drones to carry out attacks in Afghanistan has risen from roughly half in 2009/10 to more than four-fifths today.

Two weeks ago SNP Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson MP received an answer to a question on the use of drones versus other fixed-wing aircraft to launch munitions in Afghanistan: Read more