British drones and targeted killing: UK follows the lead of the US and Israel

David Cameron announcing drone targeted killing of Reyaard Khan
David Cameron announcing drone targeted killing of Reyaard Khan

Yesterday’s statement from Prime Minister David Cameron that a British drone had targeted and killed a 21 year-old British citizen, Reyaad Khan, outside a situation of armed conflict after he had been put on what amounts to a kill list months earlier is shocking.  Time and again in response to questions about the UK’s drone programme British ministers, defence officials and military officers have distanced themselves from the type of targeted killing undertaken by US drones outside a situation of formal conflict.  ‘It’s something we wouldn’t do’ has been the mantra. Read more

Briton killed by targeted British drone strike

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Reyaad Khan

In a shocking statement made in the House of Commons this afternoon Prime Minster David Cameron announced that for the first time a British citizen, Reyaad Khan, has been targeted for assassination by a British drone.  A second Briton, Ruhul Amin and a third unknown man were also killed in the strike. Cameron told the House:

Today I can inform the House that in an act of self-defence and after meticulous planning Reyaad Khan was killed in a precision air strike carried out on 21st August by an RAF remotely piloted aircraft while he was travelling in a vehicle in the area of Raqqah in Syria.

In addition to Reyaad Khan who was the target of the strike, two ISIL associates were also killed, one of whom – Ruhul Amin, has been identified as a UK national. They were ISIL fighters and I can confirm there were no civilian casualties.

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