Protest to hit UK drone-command
British anti-war campaigners will gather outside RAF Waddington military base later today in protest to the new revelations that the Ministry of Defense is operating armed drones from the Lincolnshire-based drone-command to bomb Afghanistan.
The “Ground the Drones” protest has been called by the Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Drone Wars UK and War on Want.
The protesters want an end to killer drones operations saying they give the politicians the means to kill innocent people and go scot-free.
They say their use from 3,000 miles away (the distance between Waddington and Afghanistan) to launch lethal attacks with no risk of political consequences is a cause of extreme concern.
“Operated far away from conflict zones, drones make it much easier for politicians to launch military strikes and order extrajudicial assassinations without democratic oversight or accountability to the public,” the Stop the War Coalition said.
“Drones are indiscriminate weapons of war that have been responsible for thousands of civilian deaths. Rather than expanding the UK’s arsenal, drones should be banned, just as landmines and cluster munitions were banned,” it added.
The British Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that they have for the first time carried out drones missions in Afghanistan from British soil, using XIII Squadron.
The Reaper-class unmanned aerial vehicle can carry 500lb (230 kg) of laser-guided bombs as well as Hellfire missiles.
The Stop the War coalition said British government is to double its number of armed Reaper drones in Afghanistan.
This is while Britain has also made orders for new surveillance drones called Watchkeeper, which are being developed by Thales UK and their partner company, the Israeli Elbit.