The UK would not hesitate to launch further drone attacks in Syria to prevent terrorist plots even if it meant killing UK citizens fighting for Islamic extremists terror groups, says UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. Earlier this week two UK citizens known to be Islamic State jihadists were killed in a drone strike which Fallon said was a "perfectly legal act of self defence."
"We wouldn't hesitate to take similar action again," said Fallon citing his government rights under Article 51 of the United Nations charter, which says member states had an "inherent right of self-defence" if it is believed an armed attack was imminent.
Falloon would not comment on an alleged "hit list" of suspected terrorist targets.
"There are a large number of individuals - not all British - out there in Syria... who are actively involved in planning armed attacks here in Britain." he said.
Security expert say if a hit list existed it "would be something drawn up digitally", based on information from informants or intercepted online communications.
Media questions about the existence of a hit list were spurred by claims from the father of two other British citizens believed to be in Syria.
Ahmed Muthana, whose 17 year old son Aseel Muthana and his 20 year old brother, Nasser, said he believed both would be targeted in a drone strike because the UK government was "targeting everyone now."
The debate on UK's use of drones started on Monday when it was announced that Cardiff-born Reyaad Khan, 21, and 26 year old Ruhul Amin, from Aberdeen, were killed in a precision drone strike in Raqqa on August 21st. Another known British Jihadist, Junaid Hussain, was killed by a US drone strike on August 24th
The August 21st attack was the first "officially" targeted UK drone strike on British citizens, and followed the receipt of information gathered by UK's secret intelligence services.
Fallon said there was "no other way" of stopping Khan, whom British Prime Minister David Cameron said was planning "barbaric" attacks on "high-profile public commemorations" in Britain.