Defence written question – answered on 30th June 2014.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effects of lethal targeting by remotely-piloted air systems on security in Afghanistan.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

UK forces, and the wider ISAF mission, have materially improved the security of Afghanistan since 2001. This allowed the developed Afghan national security forces to assume lead security responsibility for their own country from June 2013. As an integral capability of UK forces, remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) are assessed to have made a valuable contribution, both in their surveillance and strike roles, to the improved security situation.

All UK forces operate in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, following the principles of distinction, humanity, proportionality and military necessity. The UK’s clearly defined rules of engagement, which cover the use of RPAS, are formulated on this basis.

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