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About 330 Isis members killed in RAF airstrikes in past year – MoD

The Guardian logo The Guardian 17/09/2015 Ewen MacAskill
RAF pilots. The UK has been engaged since last year in air attacks against Isis targets in Iraq and conducted a drone strike in Syria. © PA RAF pilots. The UK has been engaged since last year in air attacks against Isis targets in Iraq and conducted a drone strike in Syria.

An estimated 330 Islamic State members have been killed by RAF airstrikes, the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has disclosed.

Fallon also said the Ministry of Defence believed there had not been a single civilian casualty in the RAF attacks.

The UK has been engaged since last year in air attacks against Isis targets in Iraq and has conducted a drone strike in Syria.

In a parliamentary written answer to the Green MP Caroline Lucas, Fallon said the 330 figure was an approximation.

“The estimated number of Isil fighters killed as a result of UK strikes from September 2014 to 31 August 2015 is around 330. This figure is highly approximate, not least given the absence of UK ground troops in a position to observe the effects of strike activity,” Fallon said.

“We do not believe there have been any civilian casualties as a result of UK strike activity. Any overall estimates would be a matter for the coalition.”

The US-led coalition’s air campaign has partially contained Isis, though it has made some territorial gains.

In 2013 David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote to approve military action against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

This month Cameron said two British nationals who had been fighting for Isis had been killed by an RAF drone strike in Syria, a move he justified on the grounds of self-defence, saying one of the men had been plotting to carry out attacks in Britain.

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