British UAV use fuels 'secret war'

Nov. 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

LONDON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Members of the British Parliament are opening an inquiry into Britain's use of unmanned aerial vehicles to kill Afghan militants.

Members of Britain's House of Commons Defense Select Committee said they intend to investigate the use by British forces of armed UAVs in Afghanistan. That would be part of the two-year Parliamentary investigation into Britain's use of lethal force in Afghanistan.

Britain primarily uses U.S. manufactured MQ-9 Reaper UAVs, built by General Atomics.

The Australian reported that MPs and members of the House of Lords are also considering whether to have a joint debate on Britain's UAV deployment policy and the ethics of "remotely" killing suspected insurgent targets in Afghanistan battling the International Security assistance Force troops.

There also remains the possibility that British ministers could face questions as to whether they share British intelligence with the United States under terms of the 1946 U.K.-U.S. intelligence sharing agreement to help UAVs operated by the CIA to kill terror suspects in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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