The Independent reports that – in a statement issued on Thursday – the RAF said it had started to support the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan ground troops with “armed intelligence and surveillance missions” – bomb-carrying Reaper drones remotely piloted from RAF Waddington.
Protesters are preparing to march on RAF Waddington today after it was revealed that pilots there are now controlling the aircraft remotely during missions over Afghanistan – the first time that has been done from British soil.
Sky News reported that anti-war demonstrators are to gather outside an RAF base today to voice their opposition to the UK’s use of armed drones in Afghanistan.
Members of the Stop The War Coalition, CND, The Drone Campaign Network and War on Want will march from Lincoln to nearby RAF Waddington.
The Ministry of Defence has defended its use of drones in Afghanistan, which it says have saved the lives of countless military personnel and civilians.
Chris Nineham, vice-chairman of the Stop the War Coalition, called for armed drones to be banned, claiming that drones are being used to continue the “deeply unpopular War on Terror” with no public scrutiny.