Sending in drones

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It is surprising to see The Scotsman omit any mention of the UK’s decision to send armed drones into Syrian airspace, without UK parliamentary approval and, of course, without permission from the government in ­Damascus.

The official line is that their role will be confined to intelligence gathering.

However, asked whether any such intelligence would be shared with the US (currently ­engaged in military action in Syria that lacks both UN approval and authorisation from the Assad regime), a Downing Street spokesperson did not even bother to deny that this would take place, saying: “The nature of this ­approach has been: how do we best protect our national security and how do we work with international allies to do that?”

Was this not exactly the type of argument used by the government to make its flawed case for UK involvement in air strikes against Syria in August last year?

Moreover, had the House of Commons not blocked that ­involvement, might not the independence campaign have profited significantly by the ability to point to yet another “illegal war”?

Yet the British government is now unapologetically acting in contempt of Syria’s sovereignty, for the benefit of the United States, in complete disregard of both the UK’s democratic processes and international law. Ultimately, whose “legitimacy” does this bring into question?

James Bruce

Church Street