MICHAEL FALLON, the defence secretary, admitted this weekend that there was a risk of civilian casualties from the RAF’s bombing campaign in Syria, saying: “War is a messy business.”
As he announced an increase in missions with the RAF moving to round-the-clock bombing, Fallon also warned the public to be prepared for “setbacks” in a campaign that could last for years. This included the nightmare scenario of an aircraft being brought down over Isis-controlled territory.
His admission may alarm critics of the war. The government had previously hailed the accuracy of its precision Brimstone missiles and bombs and claimed there had not been a single reported civilian casualty from 15 months of airstrikes in Iraq.