UK drone strikes in Syria – Reprieve comment

September 7, 2015

Image of a drone flying

Commenting on the announcement that a UK drone strike in Syria ordered without Parliamentary approval has killed two British citizens, Kat Craig, Legal Director of Reprieve’s Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team, said:

“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. On a decision of this importance, it’s not enough for the Prime Minister just to assert he was advised it was legal – Parliament and the public need to see that advice.”


1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8160 / alice [DOT] gillham [AT]