Syria: Military Intervention

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of civilians killed in Syria as a result of coalition air strikes in 2018; and how many of the air strikes which resulted in civilian deaths involved British armed forces personnel.

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

The collection of data on civilian casualties during the campaign by the Global Coalition against Daesh is a matter for the Coalition itself. All missions comply fully with International Humanitarian Law, are meticulously planned and every care is taken to minimise the effect of our military action on civilians and civilian objects. It is therefore deeply regrettable that a UK air strike on 26 March 2018, targeting Daesh fighters in eastern Syria, resulted in an unintentional civilian fatality. This was reported to the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 2 May 2018 (HCWS665). The Ministry of Defence takes any incidence of civilian casualty extremely seriously: we assess the evidence in detail and report back on our findings. We are committed to continuing that practice.

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