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UK officials say British pilots have conducted Syria strikes

Defense officials confirmed Friday that pilots acting under the command of other forces have conducted the strikes

Published: Updated:

Britain’s Ministry of Defense says U.K. pilots have conducted air strikes on targets in Syria while embedded with other military forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Defense officials confirmed Friday that pilots acting under the command of other forces, such as the United States and Canada, have conducted the strikes. The admission, made after a Freedom of Information request by the human rights group Reprieve, is important because Britain’s Parliament has only approved strikes on neighboring Iraq.

Britain has been carrying out surveillance and air-to-air refueling over Syria. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has argued recently that lawmakers should also consider backing airstrikes.

The defense ministry said Friday that although there are currently no British pilots operating in this region, “when embedded, UK personnel are effectively operating as foreign troops.”