British pilots have been embedded with coalition forces and conducting air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria.

Around 20 personnel, including three pilots, have been embedded with US and Canadian forces flying air strikes in Syria despite MPs voting against military action in Syria in 2013.

The information at UK involvement in the air strikes emerged following a Freedom of Information request submitted by the human rights group Reprieve.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that the embedded UK personnel operate under the host nation’s chain of command as if they were their personnel.

Whilst it admitted that some pilots had taken part in air strikes against IS in Syria, the MoD said that no UK pilots were currently taking part in action in the region, and would not for the next few months. It also said that ministers would have been aware of the roles of embedded UK personnel.

Labour, which blocked the government’s plan for military intervention in Syria in 2013, said that embedding personnel with allies is “extremely valuable”, but called on the government to be more “transparent about the role they play”.



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