Iraq

Defence written question – answered on 30th June 2005.

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Photo of Menzies Campbell Menzies Campbell Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the legal basis for the bombing of Iraq by RAF aircraft in the second half of 2002 was; and what proportion of ordnance was released in response to actual or imminent attack.

Photo of John Reid John Reid Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, The Secretary of State for Defence

holding answer 28 June 2005

The legal basis for the operation of the No Fly Zones over Iraq was the need to avert an immediate and overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe threatened by the then Iraqi Government against the people living on the ground in those zones. This was combined with a need to monitor the effect of UNSCR 688 which demanded that Saddam Hussein cease the repression of his people. RAF aircraft attacked only targets which were an actual or imminent threat to coalition aircraft or were contributing to such a threat, namely air defence related assets. Thus, all the ordnance released was in response to an actual or imminent attack on coalition forces.

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