Protest planned as Britain takes over drone control in Afghanistan

Protest planned as Britain takes over drone control in Afghanistan
# 26 April 2013 03:31 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. An anti-war protest is planned for the coming Saturday in Lincolnshire, England, as British Royal Air Force (RAF) starts to remotely operate drones flying in Afghanistan from British soil, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The protest, called by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Drone Campaign Network, Stop the War Coalition and War on Want, will see crowds march from Lincoln South Park to the peace camp at RAF Waddington, Britain's new Center of Drone Operations.

Local media reported Thursday that for the first time, RAF pilots have operated drone missions over Afghanistan from Britain.

"XIII Squadron has commenced supporting ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and Afghan ground troops in Afghanistan with armed intelligence and surveillance missions, which are remotely piloted from RAF Waddington," Sky News reported quoting Britain's Ministry of Defense.

Up until this week, all such missions in the Afghan conflict had been conducted at Creech air force base in Nevada, the United States.

Britain currently has five Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and has planned to double it this spring.

Over the past four years, the U.S. has launched hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, with reliable reports showing thousands of people have been killed, including hundreds of children, CND said, adding the protest aims to call on the government to abandon the use of drones as weapons of war.

"Drones make it much easier for politicians to launch military intervention and assassinate suspects anywhere in the world. Drones are making the world a much more dangerous place," the organizers said.