British objections to spying flights were dismissed

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Indy Politics

US planes on missions to spy on Hizbollah positions in Lebanon and over northern Turkey and Iraq were given permission to fly from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus despite a series of complaints by British officials to the US embassy in London.

Growing concern about US rendition flights prompted British officials to demand the US provide details of all flights so ministers could be sure whether the UK was complicit in the torture of suspects. In one cable from the US embassy it was noted: "A new element of distrust has crept into the US-UK mil-mil [military] relationship."

Another, by the US diplomat Maura Connelly, advised: "We understand that these precautionary measures stem from the revelation that the US government transited renditioned persons through Diego Garcia without UK permission and HMG's resultant need to ensure it is not similarly blindsided in the future."