UK enters the global drone war

The UK government has announced that it ordered a drone strike in Syria without Parliamentary approval. The strike killed two British citizens.

Make no mistake – what we are seeing is the failed US model of secret strikes being copied wholesale by the British government. Ministers repeatedly promised Parliament and the public that there would be no military operations in Syria without Parliamentary approval. The fact that David Cameron has bypassed Parliament to commit these covert strikes is deeply worrying – as is his refusal to share what legal advice he was given.

This also comes at a time when numerous American officials have said their own global drone killing policy has failed.

As US strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have shown, this level of secrecy around drone killing is impractical and untenable – not least because mistakes are easily made, and can have devastating human consequences.

Kat Craig, Legal Director of Reprieve’s Abuses in Counter-Terrorism

The global drones war

The CIA killer drones programme is the death penalty without trial, and the new face of US and UK counter-terrorism policy.

Reprieve opposes the illegitimate off-battlefield use of weaponised drones anywhere in the world. This programme has already killed more than 4,000 people – most of whom remain nameless, even to the Congressional Committees tasked with overseeing the policy.

We are assisting survivors and victims’ families in their fight for legal accountability, transparency and justice.

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