#FOIA MOD Documents Reveal Coalition Forces Bombing Syria without Democratic Sanction ‘

#AceNewsReport – SYRIA:July.17: British combat pilots embedded with American and Canadian coalition forces have bombed targets in Syria without democratic sanction, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.  Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents obtained by UK human rights group Reprieve on Thursday indicate that British air forces have been covertly involved in military airstrikes over Syria for some time RT Reported via Sources.  

This revelation makes “current debate over whether Britain should carry out such strikes somewhat obsolete,” staff lawyer at Reprieve Jennifer Gibson said in a statement on Friday.

It is alarming that Parliament and the public have been kept in the dark about this for so long,” she added.

An extract from the MoD response to Reprieve’s FOI request says: “UK military personnel embedded with the USA, French and Canadian armed forces have been authorized to deploy with their units to participate in coalition operations against ISIL [Islamic State]

These personnel include pilots flying ISR and Strike missions against ISIL targets using the equipment of those units. Of these three nations only the USA and Canada are operating in Syrian airspace.

The admission says that “UK Embeds operate as if they were the host nation’s personnel, under that nation’s chain of command,” bringing into question the legal basis from UK personnel’s apparently long-running involvement in airstrikes on Syria.

The revelations have created immediate dissent in the government, with Tory MP John Barron telling the BBC that Parliament had said “no to military intervention.

Those troops or individuals should be withdrawn from the embedded program whilst this vote holds sway, while it stills hold authority, until we vote again.

While the UK has been involved in airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq since September 2014, UK MPs voted against military intervention in crisis-ridden Syria in August 2013. The outcome of the vote caused considerable embarrassment to Prime Minister David Cameron, who openly backed the move. 

Responding to a question put by then-Labour Leader Ed Miliband at the time, Cameron vowed to seek another vote before extending combat operations to Syria.

Following June’s terror massacre in Tunisia which left 30 British tourists dead, senior political and military figures in the UK have once again started to push for airstrikes in Syria. In 2013, Britain’s proposed military intervention in the war-torn state was aimed at overthrowing Syrian President Bashar Assad. Recent debate on UK airstrikes in the region has focused on obliterating IS militants operating there.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon recently said the extension of British bombing operations to Syria was a logical move. Speaking at an airpower conference held in London on Thursday, he compared IS to Nazi fascists from the 1940s.

The Labour party has called for an explanation from the MoD by Monday morning.

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British Falklands military exercises ‘anger’ Argentina

Argentina has accused the UK of provocation over plans to hold military exercises in the Falkland Islands.

It said drills by British forces would include missile launches and were part of a “pattern” of “hostile acts”.

The British ambassador in Buenos Aires has been summoned by Argentina’s deputy foreign minister, who will protest over the “new show of military force”.

The UK Foreign Office dismissed the claims as “fanciful” and said next week’s exercises were “routine”.

Argentina lays claim to the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas, and said the UK planned to conduct the exercises on “occupied Argentine territory” between 14 and 27 April.

‘Wholly false’
A spokesman for the Argentine embassy in London said: “This action is a new example of UK’s disregard for United Nations resolutions, which call on both parties to resume negotiations over sovereignty and refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation as long as the dispute persists.”

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has called the islands “Nato’s military base” in the region. But a spokesman for the UK Foreign Office said the planned exercises took place at least twice year, if not every few months, and had been carried out for many years.

“Argentine claims that we are ‘militarising’ the South Atlantic are wholly false,” the Foreign Office said.

“UK forces numbers have declined to the minimum necessary to defend the islands.

“Argentina’s suggestion that the UK is seeking to threaten militarily either Argentina itself or the wider region is entirely without foundation, as is the suggestion that we deploy nuclear weapons in the region.”

A total of 255 British servicemen and about 650 Argentines died in the conflict following the Argentine invasion of the islands on 2 April 1982.

Last year, Falkland Islanders took part in a referendum, voting by 1,513 to three to remain a British overseas territory.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time that the result “could not have sent a clearer message”

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