On these figures, David Cameron should be given his marching orders.
He promised that UK air strikes on Daesh (called IS by some) in Syria would “cut off the ‘head of the snake'” – he was wrong.
After who-knows-how-many missions since the controversial vote that supported the hugely expensive policy, RAF jets have managed to notch up just seven Daesh casualties.
None were achieved by the Brimstone missile system which David Cameron claimed was our reason for launching the offensive – it is unique to the UK and Saudi Arabia and is supposed to target the enemy intelligently.
On these figures, it seems about as successful as our duff Type 45 naval destroyers and as useful as the Trident nuclear deterrent.
Brimstones have been used in nine raids – with more than one missile deployed in several. It costs £100,000 per missile, meaning the weapon itself has already cost the UK £1 million – pointlessly.
The Ministry of Defence reckons its missions have cut oil revenues to Daesh by 30 per cent, and reduced the organisation’s entire income by one-tenth.
Isn’t Jeremy Corbyn’s alternative plan looking much, much better in the light of these disastrous figures?
Corbyn said a better way would be to concentrate on cutting off Daesh’s income stream – not by haphazard, hit-and-hope air strikes but by cutting off its commercial operations from the rest of the world.
And he said military strikes should be intelligence-led; that is, we should gather information on the location of Daesh’s leaders and then eliminate them with targeted, surgical strikes.
That would be far more effective than the huge waste of time, resources and public money launched idiotically by David Cameron – and supported by far too many MPs who should have known better. Hilary Benn must flinch every time he thinks about it.
The RAF’s celebrated Brimstone missile system has yet to kill or wound a single Isis terrorist in Syria since MPs controversially voted to support bombing raids in December.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by The Huffington Post UK also revealed just seven Isis militants have been killed or wounded by bombs dropped by RAF jets – either with Paveway bombs or Hellfire drone missiles.
Brimstone, hailed for its accuracy, was the main reason for the UK going into Syria, offering a military capability lacking among the US and French air forces, and was cited repeatedly by the Government and MPs.
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