THE UK could well be ‘complicit’ in US War Crimes committed using drones, and could face prosecution, a new report released yesterday after two years of research by a parliamentary committee warned.
It states that the British military, including individual personnel, could be prosecuted for civilian deaths and alleged war crimes as a result of its involvement in the US’ drone programme. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones also warned that logistical support provided to the US drone programme, in addition to the British military’s own drone strikes, could constitute violations of both ‘national and international law.’
The parliamentary group’s chair, Professor Michael Clark, said many of the UK government’s drone operations were justified by ‘weak and inconsistent’ legal arguments, insisting: ‘ “Arguably lawful” is just not good enough. No one objected because everyone was very glad to see the back of Jihadi John, but behind that the principles being compromised are very important.’
Moreover, the report highlighted the growing number of UK attacks abroad, in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Somalia, and said this trend hasn’t been receiving significant public scrutiny to pressure the government to do the right thing.
US claims of killing remarkably few civilians in Syria via its aerial bombing campaign have been questioned and rebuffed by rights groups, with some even accusing the Trump administration of hiding and covering up civilian casualties.
Drone strikes are used to carry out ‘Targeted killings’. Targeted killing is defined as a form of assassination based on the presumption of criminal guilt. This is a modern euphemism for the assassination (premeditated killing) of an individual by a state organisation or institution outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield. The UK has admitted it had a ‘kill list’ of individuals it wanted to eliminate.