by ROBERT VERKAIK
The Daily Mail
‘RAF pilots took part in America’s notorious drone programme in Iraq in which hundreds of civilians died, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Heavily armed drones – using deadly missiles to destroy targets – were flying as many as three missions a week from 2004.
They were operated remotely by pilots, often from bases thousands of miles away.
It had been thought the operations in Iraq, which have been condemned by human rights groups as war crimes, were run solely by the US Air Force. Now the Ministry of Defence has admitted for the first time that British personnel were helping to fly the drones from bases in the United States.
In a statement to Parliament, Armed Forces Minister Andrew Robathan was forced to correct a previous account in which he said the RAF flew US drones only in Afghanistan and Libya.’