Rights Watch UK’s Legal and Policy Director, Adriana Edmeades writes: “The U.K.’s approach to drone warfare is opaque at all levels of policy and practice. Officially, the U.K. has no formal drone program equivalent to that in the U.S. The U.K. Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into targeting killing concluded that, instead, armed drone strikes occur in an ad hoc manner as one of a suite of operational tactics at the disposal of U.K. forces. The U.K. government has, following freedom of information requests, released some figures indicating that by the end of 2016, more than 1,200 air strikes (both from conventional manned aircraft and drones) have been conducted by U.K. forces against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria. Still, questions remain as to where else U.K. drones are deployed and the civilian impact of these strikes. While the data obtained through freedom of information requests is welcome, there is no regular official means through which the U.K. government informs the public of its participation in targeted strikes.”

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