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Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 24th September 2015.

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Photo of The Bishop of Worcester The Bishop of Worcester Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that military action by coalition forces in Iraq does not displace civilians.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

Defence's initial involvement last summer was to deliver immediate aid in support of humanitarian objectives. The Royal Air Force dropped nearly 100 tonnes of humanitarian supplies, the majority to the besieged Yazidi community on Mount Sinjar.

Individual members of the Coalition retain responsibility for the actions of their own forces. All UK air strikes are conducted under UK rules of engagement, which have been agreed for this campaign in accordance with the law. Close observation, careful selection and approval of targets before a strike, and the use of precision weapons minimises collateral damage and the potential for civilian casualties. This is in stark contrast with ISIL's complete disregard for human life and for the consequences of their actions for civilians.

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