Drone Wars is undertaking legal action in an attempt to gain details of secret British Reaper drone operations that has been taking place since at least 2019. Appealing against the MoD’s refusal to answer both FoI requests and parliamentary questions about these missions, Drone Wars is seeking answers before an Information Tribunal.
Drone Wars discovered in early 2020 that the UK was flying Reaper missions outside of ‘Operation Shader’, the name of the UK’s military operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Although the MoD acknowledged that such missions were taking place, it flatly refused to detail their location or the number of sorties that had been undertaken. According to the latest FoI response from the MoD (Jan 2021) it appears these secret sorties are continuing.
After an internal appeal to the MoD was rejected in early 2020, Drone Wars appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in April 2020 with a response received in January 2021. Although the Commissioner accepted that there is “significant and weighty public interest in disclosure of the withheld information,” she ultimately upheld the refusal to release the information following undisclosed submissions made to the ICO by the Ministry of Defence. Read more