Two British IS Fighters Killed in Drone StrikeSeptember 7, 2015 in Syria
On Monday 7 September, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that two British Islamic State (IS) fighters were killed by an RAF drone strike in Syria in an “act of self-defense.”
Speaking to MP’s Prime Minister Cameron disclosed that Cardiff-born Reyaad Khan, 21, was targeted in Raqa on 21 August and died alongside Ruhul Amin, another fighter who was from Aberdeen. The British Prime Minister disclosed that Khan had been plotting “barbaric” attacks at UK public events. Despite MP’s previously ruling out UK military action in Syria, Cameron indicated that the strike was lawful and necessary.
On Monday, the Prime Minister reported that Khan was killed in a precision strike by a remotely piloted aircraft, “after meticulous planning,” while he was travelling in a vehicle, adding that the legality of the strike had been approved by the attorney general. In his statement to the Commons, Cameron disclosed “my first duty as Prime Minister is to keep the British people safe… There was a terrorist directing murder on our streets and no other means to stop him. This government does not for one moment take these decisions lightly…But I am not prepared to stand here in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our streets and have to explain to the House why I did not take the chance to prevent it when I could have done.” Shortly after his comments, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman urged the government to publish the legal advice, stating, “why didn’t the Attorney general authorize this special action rather than merely ‘confirming there was a legal basis for it’?”
While two years ago, MP’s rejected possible UK military action in Syria, in September 2014, they approved British participation in air strikes against IS targets in Iraq only. However, officials indicated at the time that the UK would “act immediately (in Syria) and explain to Parliament afterwards” if there was “a critical British national interest at stake.”