British combat pilots embedded with American and Canadian coalition forces have been bombing targets in Syria without democratic sanction, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed. Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents obtained by UK human rights group Reprieve on Thursday indicate that British air forces have been covertly involved in military airstrikes over Syria for quite some time. This revelation makes “current debate over whether Britain should carry out such strikes somewhat obsolete,” staff lawyer at Reprieve Jennifer Gibson said in a statement on Friday.

“It is alarming that Parliament and the public have been kept in the dark about this for so long,” she added. An extract from the MoD response to Reprieve’s FOI request says: “UK military personnel embedded with the USA, French and Canadian armed forces have been authorized to deploy with their units to participate in coalition operations against ISIL [Islamic State]. MORE