UK drone attack killed two British men in Syria - Cameron

2015-09-07 21:09
British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AFP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AFP)

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London - Britain's military killed two British citizens in a drone attack against Islamic State fighters in Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

Last month's attack was the first in modern times by British forces in a foreign country outside of war, Cameron told parliament, saying it was a "relatively unique" event.

"It was necessary and proportionate for the individual self-defence of the UK," he said, adding that the attack was backed by government legal advisers.

The attack was not part of US-led coalition efforts against Islamic State in Syria, but it was "a targeted strike to deal with clear, credible and specific terrorist threats to our country", Cameron said.

"The choice we were left with was, think 'this is too difficult’, throw up our arms and walk away and then wait for the chaos and terrorism to hit Britain, or to take the action in the British national interest and neutralise this threat," he said. "I am sure that was the right thing to do."

The prime target of the attack was Reyaad Khan, 21, a British man seen in many Islamic State recruitment videos. Another British man, Ruhul Amin, 26, was one of two other fighters killed in the attack.

"Both Junaid Hussain and Reyaad Khan, were British nationals based in Syria who were involved in actively recruiting ISIS sympathisers and seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the West," Cameron said. 

He said there was "a strong case for the UK taking part in air strikes" against Islamic States forces in Syria, as they have done in Iraq.

But he reiterated his promise to seek parliamentary approval before committing British forces to join coalition air strikes in Syria.

Read more on:    isis  |  david cameron  |  uk  |  syria

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