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Syria: Armed Conflict

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 49513, tabled on 19 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution by the Secretary of State for Defence, of 18 January 2016, Official Report, column 1118 on how many occasions the Government has considered evidence from (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) Airwars, (c) White Helmets and (d) other organisations working in Syria on the collection of data on civilian (i) casualties and (ii) injuries in Syria from 2016 to date; and on how many occasions the Government has considered such evidence as credible.

Answered on

26 October 2016

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has reviewed four batches of information collated by Airwars in relation to possible civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, where they wished to establish whether RAF aircraft might have been involved. There was no credible evidence that RAF aircraft were responsible in any of these incidents. MOD officials have also met Airwars to outline the process used by the UK to assess the outcome of RAF airstrikes.

All RAF airstrikes are subject to an assessment of their outcome. Whilst there can be no guarantees in a complex air campaign like this one, our airstrikes are planned meticulously with the objective of minimising the risk of causing civilian casualties.The MOD continues to be prepared to consider credible evidence on this issue from any source.