Lawyers have questioned the legality of a drone strike by an RAF drone in Syria which killed two British Islamic State fighters

Human rights lawyers warn the Prime Minister that the decision taken to kill two British Islamic State fighters in a RAF drone strike in Syria is likely to be unlawful.

Rosa Curling from the human rights team at law firm Leigh Day said:

“We can see no legal basis upon which the UK government can lawfully target and kill individuals on an extra-judicial killing basis without even an attempt at due process.

“This is a very worrying and deeply concerning development in UK policy which must be considered by the court as a matter of priority. Our clear view, based on the facts available in the public domain, is that the killing of these two men was unlawful.

“The legal opinion upon which the Prime Minister is stating the execution of these individuals was lawful, must be published without delay.”

Kat Craig, Legal Director of Reprieve's Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team, said:

“Make no mistake – what we are seeing is the failed US model of secret strikes being copied wholesale by the British government. Ministers repeatedly promised Parliament and the public that there would be no military operations in Syria without Parliamentary approval. The fact that David Cameron has bypassed Parliament to commit these covert strikes is deeply worrying – as is his refusal to share what legal advice he was given."

In a statement to the Commons the prime minister explained that the Attorney General had approved the legality of the strike.

Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman asked why the the Attorney General had authorised the action rather than merely 'confirming there was a legal basis for it'?

She called for "independent scrutiny" of the attack and urged the government to publish the legal advice.