Analysis of information released by the Ministry of Defence shows a huge rise in the number of British air strikes against ISIS in Iraq since October 2015. In addition our analysis also shows that the UK’s adoption of the US methodology for counting air strikes means that official MoD strike figures undercount strikes by around 30% compared with the traditional British methodology.
On Wednesday 27 May, four British drone protesters (including myself) will go on trial at Lincoln Magistrates Court. We are accused of criminal damage to the perimeter fence of RAF Waddington after cutting a hole to gain entry on January 5 2015 – the first working day of the new year. Arguably this was the day that UK armed drone use moved from being limited and provisional (the armed Reaper drones were acquired only on a limited basis until the end of Afghanistan operations at the end of 2014) to being permanently available for armed remote operations anywhere and at any time. Read more →
The MoD has announced the first UK drone strike in Iraq against ISIS militants. The strike come almost exactly a decade after the first UK drone strike in Iraq in 2004 when RAF pilots operated US drones as part of the Joint US/UK Combined Joint Predator Task Force
Yesterday’s MoD statement said:
This weekend saw the first air strike by a Royal Air Force Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) as British forces continue to assist the Iraqi Government in their fight against ISIL.
A series of coalition missions were conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad, where ISIL terrorists were laying improvised explosive devices.
The Reaper RPAS, using procedures identical to those of manned aircraft, successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile.
UK Reaper continued to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to coalition aircraft which enabled them to conduct further strikes.