11 November 2017 — Drone Warfare
The RAF has dropped about 3,500 bombs and missiles, which the BBC estimates has already cost £150m in munitions. Each Brimstone missile costs more than £100,000 and the RAF has already fired more than 350, according to the BBC estimate, defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said. During the last week alone:
Yemen: air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition left at least three civilians wounded in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa, witnesses said. The strikes, which took place late on Friday, hit a residential area near the ministry of defence building, which had been targeted just before.
Right: Yemenis wait to collect drinking water from a donated water pipe. The UN has warned that Yemen faces the largest famine the world has seen for many decades.
Afghanistan: the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said at least 10 civilians may have been killed by an airstrike in the northern city of Kunduz last week, despite a US military investigation that found no civilian deaths.
The Guardian reports that in a series of messages on Twitter, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said, after interviews with multiple survivors, medics, elders and others, that “Credible reports that at least 10 civilians killed in Kunduz Afghanistan air strike 4 Nov, UNAMA initial findings show”.
Somalia: Voice of America reports that U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabab in Somalia on Thursday, killing “several militants,” according to the U.S. military. The drone strike hit targets in the Bay Region of Somalia, about 160 kilometers west of the capital, Mogadishu and no civilians were killed in the strike, Pentagon spokeswoman Audricia Harris told VOA.
The BBC‘s three year summary: the UK has carried out more than 1,500 airstrikes against Islamic State since it began its bombing campaign exactly three years ago.
The MoD said there was still “no credible evidence” that any civilian deaths had been caused, despite the fact that the bombing campaign intensified in the heavily populated cities of Mosul and now Raqqa over the past year.
Airwars, a group that monitors civilian casualties from international airstrikes in the region, has said it would be “statistically impossible” for the RAF to carry out hundreds of attacks without killing civilians.