Libya

Defence written question – answered on 4th September 2013.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions UK forces flew drones as part of Operation Ellamy; and how many people were recorded as having been (a) killed and (b) injured as a result of those missions. [R]

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 November 2012, Hansard, column 494W, to my hon. Friend Rehman Chishti. UK personnel embedded with United States forces contributed to around 200 armed remotely piloted air system missions as part of the NATO mission in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.

The Government do not record total figures for casualties, whether civilian or otherwise, caused by UK forces because of the immense difficulty and risks that would be involved in collecting robust data. This was particularly the case for Operation Ellamy, without contemporaneous verification from within Libya. The UK and NATO were committed to enforcing the UN mandate to protect civilians. Operations were only conducted against legitimate military targets and the utmost care was taken to avoid civilian casualties at all times.

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