UK spends at least £44.5m more bombing Iraq-Syria with Hellfire missiles 


War spend rises over period linking UK attacks to towards 100 civilian deaths 

MONEY HAS CONTINUED to pour into the British bombing of the Middle East despite no clear progress in halting the political and humanitarian catastrophe on the ground.

New figures released by the UK military, sought by Glasgow MP Alison Thewliss, revealed that ‘Operation Shader’ has spent at least £44.5m on Hellfire missiles over the past 20 months. 

In a letter reacting to the findings, Thewliss said the war-spend was “an obscene amount of money to spend when people are facing cuts to frontline services and having to bear the brunt of savage Tory austerity.”

In response to a written question, UK military minister Michael Penning said: “Between November 2014 and the end of August 2016 there have been 473 Hellfire missiles used in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader. The estimated cost of the use of these missiles is £44.455 million.”

The UK’s calamitous invasion of Iraq in 2003 had led to almost a decade and a half of perpetual conflict

However, campaign group Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (Sacc) pointed out in a statement that this definition would exclude Hellfire missiles used outside the Shader operation and exclude the cost of Brimstone missiles, meaning the real missile costs of the war are in reality far higher. 

The UK’s calamitous invasion of Iraq in 2003 had led to almost a decade and a half of perpetual conflict, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and tens of billions of pounds squandered on a war justified over fictional weapons of mass destruction.

Thewliss added: “Rest assured that I and other SNP MPs will continue to scrutinise the UK's ongoing involvement in military action in Syria and pressure the UK Government to commit to a coherent post-conflict strategy which seeks to prioritise long-term peace and stability in Syria.”

The UK has also spent far more money bombing the North African state of Libya than it did in the failed reconstruction phase after the NATO bombardment. 

The UK voted to expand its Iraq bombing campaign against Daesh (Islamic State) last December. 

Picture courtesy of Gary Knight

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