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Middle East

Volume 586: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2014

Further to the update I provided to the House on 16 October on UK operations against ISIL, Official Report, column 35WS, I can confirm that Reaper remotely piloted aircraft are due to begin operations very shortly.

As well as their operations over Iraq, both Reapers and Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft will be authorised to fly surveillance missions over Syria to gather intelligence as part of our efforts to protect our national security from the terrorist threat emanating from there. Reapers are not authorised to use weapons in Syria; that would require further permission.

The legal basis for this authorisation is as set out to Parliament in the debate on 26 September.

I will continue to provide updates to the House on our military activity.