New figures released to Drone Wars UK in response to Freedom of Information requests shows a dramatic increase in the number of RAF operations in Syria in the first six months of 2017. According to the figures, UK armed air missions in Syria rose by 480% in the first half of 2017 compared with the previous six months.
Drone Wars UK is today publishing a new report detailing UK armed drone and air operations against ISIS. The report contains data on UK operations in Iraq and Syria gained through Freedom of Information requests since 2014 as well as background and a timeline of UK air operations. In addition, the report highlights continuing issues of concern about the use of armed drones reflected through the lens of UK drone operations.
The data shows that
The UK has launched just over 2,500 missiles and bombs in 1,200 air strikes against ISIS until the end of 2016
The number of UK drone flights in Iraq and Syria declined by 23% in 2016. Despite this, weapon launches from UK Reaper drones increased by 30% (from 274 in 2015 to 358 in 2016).
22% of the UK’s 726 air strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2016 were carried out by Reaper drones
Since parliament approved the expansion of air strikes into Syria in Dec 2015, just 9% of UK strikes have taken place in Syria.
In the final quarter of 2016, only 5% of UK air missions took place in Syria.