British niche capabilities would make a difference in Syria French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The piece in the Guardian newspaper was published after Prime Minister David Cameron urged parliament on Thursday to back British air strikes against Islamic State in Syria.

David Cameron told MPs Britain could not “subcontract its security to other countries”.

Jean-Yves Le Drian wrote:

“We need British defence capabilities to win this war. The Royal Air Force is already in action over Iraq. Its involvement over Syria would make a practical difference.

The RAF has significant capabilities for precision air strikes, aerial reconnaissance and air-to-air refuelling support. On a daily basis, its Tornado aircraft and unmanned drones are causing very severe damage to Islamic State in Iraq. The use of these capabilities over Syria would put additional and extreme pressure on the terror network.”

Cameron also argued that particular capabilities of the RAF, Raptor reconnaissance pods on its Tornado aircraft and their ability to deliver small but highly accurate Brimstone missiles, provide something that others don’t have.

It is claimed that this “niche” capability is one that even the Americans don’t have and combined with the Raptor pod,  itself responsible for some 60% of the tactical intelligence gained over Iraq, is a useful capability to bring to the air war.

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Adam Wiggins

only the best

Martin Clubber Laing

I concur

Mark Llewellyn

Has to be done

James Gale

Raptor is an excellent piece of kit.

Paul Hodson

“highly accurate Brimstone missiles, provide something that others don’t have.”

Exactly and why don’t they have them, both France and the US lauded Brimstone in Libya 4 years ago. Politics and protecting local jobs?

Colin Wilson

What’s wrong? Do they need help finding a 5 star hotel?

James Gale

Poor pongo’s…..Enjoy the mud 😉

Daz Vallis

Yawn the old ones really are just old!

James Russell Norman

Naughty but true!

Cliff Benton

Don’t think that matters to the French…they usually on the wine from lunch so they wouldn’t be able to tell by bed time!

Ted Doe

Do it! (y)

Peter Day

Because the Royal Air Force is the best in the world

Daz Vallis

Raptor and Brimstone is an excellent combination and when it comes to ISTAR the RAF is by far the leader in NATO

Chris Power

Although not on the same airframe….

UK Defence Journal

Not on the same airframe?

Chris Power

Sorry my bad, read that as Reaper and brimstone….never use Facebook late at night!

Jake Hayes

Hate to burst you bubble but RAPTOR is photo recon lightneg is the designator and recon.

Phil Mathenia

I hate to say this the only way this “war” on ISIS is going to be won is 1) Russia and the NATO powers working together
2) Troops on the ground .
3) US to stop trying to overthrow the Syrian government.
And really cannot see all three happening.

Si Fielding

We’re so good at bombing brown kids, it’s amazing. The French aren’t too bad either, killed 28 children in a school the other day, that’ll reduce the number of terrorists…

How do you know they’re brown? The could be a fetching shade of beige or even cream. In other words stop talking out of your hoop . . .

Kieran Locke

There is always one moron on every thread isn’t there.

Si Fielding

I just don’t understand how the British armed forces can kill thousands of children in the middle east… and none of you ever mention it?

H Nelson

thousands???? Evidence please or are you just trolling?!!

Matthew O'Connell

Why do we need to get involved? i don;t get it, intelligence suggests around 30’000 ISIS against Russia and France, yet they can’t handle it? really?

Geoffrey Roach

Support France. If we are to behave with honour we need to be there with our allies. I am saddened by the defeatist and I have to say forever moaning SNP but even worse is the tragedy of the once proud Labour Party. Where is their backbone. Broken or drowning under a morass of politically correct nonsense. STAND UP

Joe Burroughs

Ganiel Dungadin

Say ‘NO’ to Jeremy Corbyn

Franz Seagle

not needed. russian are already there!

Alan Leach

There’s no talking sense, strategy or morality with a group of men with a hard-on for murderous hardware. You’d have more luck pissing in the wind.

Si Fielding

“Raptor is an excellent piece of kit.”

Eurgh, the banality of evil.


I respect your opinion to disagree, but RAPTOR itself is mere photos and scanning, pretty sure it hasn’t killed “thousands of children” 🙂 though please do provide proof of that, would be interesting to read how “we” have failed in identifying targets and chain of command.

Meanwhile, IS continue to do their thing against untold thousands in their occupied areas, and the Russians blanket bomb with a gusto. Please, do something!