The Syrian war is not over: there are attacks by Israel & the US-led coalition – ‘a new trajectory’?

17 April 2019 — Drone Warfare

Middle East Monitor reports, on April 15th, that an Israeli intelligence firm, ImageSat International has released satellite images claiming to show “the complete destruction of a possible Iranian surface-to-surface missile factory” in Syria’s Masyaf District, allegedly struck by Israel on Saturday.

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Latest FoI release from MoD shows extent of UK air and drone war in Syria by Chris Cole

11 February 2019 — Drone Wars

The rise in UK air and drone strikes in Syria since September 2018 has been laid bare in the MoD’s latest responses to a Drone Wars UK FoI request. The number of British strikes in Syria per month rose to its highest ever amount (75) in December 2018.

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The Gatwick drone: A taste of the technology by Chris Cole

9 January 2019 — Drone Wars

Drones dominated the headlines over the Christmas and New Year period after sightings of one or more commercially available drones closed Gatwick airport to flights for 2½ days, disrupting thousands of passengers. The inability of the authorities to track down the drone operator led to ministers calling in the military with counter-drone technology to give assurances to air operators that it was safe to re-open the airport. This week, Heathrow was also closed for an hour due to the presence of a small drone.

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Enabling RAF chaplains to provide guidance to drone pilots

20 December 2018 — Drone Warfare

See our 2014 post

The Times and the Commercial Drone Professional reported recently that the Church of England has announced a programme helping RAF chaplains to offer pastoral care and support to drone pilots. They will spend a year studying for a master’s degree in ethics at Cardiff University so they can provide guidance to drone pilots in the British Army on the moral dilemmas that come with killing an enemy on the other side of the world.

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Off the Leash: How the UK is developing the technology to build armed autonomous drones By Peter Burt

10 November 2018 — Drone Wars

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A new report published today by Drone Wars UK reveals that, despite a UK government statement that it “does not possess fully autonomous weapons and has no intention of developing them”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is actively funding research into technology supporting the development of armed autonomous drones.

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Google abandons three projects which could ’cause harm’

30 October 2018 — Drone Warfare

DRONE WARFARE: now including all airstrikes

In June, Mark Bridge reported that Google software engineers refused to work on a security feature to isolate and protect Pentagon data, because of moral concerns about the company helping the US to wage war. A dozen employees resigned in May according to Engadget and 4000 staff signed a petition against the project which was halted.

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Imran Khan: “American drone strikes in Pakistan must stop. It’s butchery, and the true horror of it is hidden from the West”

4 October 2018 — Drone Warfare

Since 2004, the US government has attacked thousands of targets in tribal areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan. It used unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the US Air Force under the operational control of the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Attacks increased substantially under Bush’s successor, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

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Running amok? Donald Trump facilitates civilian drone deaths & continues attacks in seven countries ‘and elsewhere’

7 June 2018 — Drone Warfare

The NGO CAGE, which campaigns against discriminatory state policies and advocates observance of due process and the rule of law, reminds readers that in October 2017, US President Donald Trump replaced the Obama rules pertaining to drone strikes with his own ‘rules’ called the “Principles, Standards, and Procedures,” or PSPs.

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MoD accidentally reveals British drones firing thermobaric missiles in Syria By Chris Cole

2 May 2018 — Drone Wars

The Ministry of Defence has revealed for the first time – seemingly accidentally – that British drones are firing thermobaric weapons in Syria.  The disclosure comes in an Freedom of Information (FoI) response to Drone Wars detailing the use of Reaper drones over the previous three months.

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UK drone strike kills civilian in Syria admits MoD By Chris ColeUK drone strike kills civilian in Syria admits MoD By Chris Cole

2 May 2018 — Drone Wars

For the first time, the Ministry of Defence has admitted a civilian death in its air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  The strike, from an RAF Reaper drone, occurred on 26 March according to a written statement by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.  The strike itself was reported by the MoD on its website on 4 April.  It stated: Continue reading

Immoral, unethical and illegal? Military action in areas where the UK is not formally at war

25 March 2018 – Drone Warfare

Mark Shapiro draws attention to a contribution from Emily Knowles, who leads the Oxford Research Group’s Remote Warfare Programme.

In the introduction to her report (right) she writes: “ One of the major warnings from the Iraq Inquiry was that public trust in politics had been damaged through misrepresentation of facts by the government”.

This research suggests that there is a rising trend of secretive military commitments in areas where the UK is not considered to be at war:

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Cost of UK air and drone strikes in Iraq and Syria reach £1.75 billion By Chris Cole

26 February 2018 — Drone Wars

Analysis of figures released in response to Freedom of Information requests by Drone Wars UK indicate that the UK has spent £1.75bn on armed air missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since August 2014. It should be noted that the overall cost of UK military operations in Iraq and Syria will be much higher.

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