On Friday, Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper combat aircraft from RAF Akrotiri, launched a large scale assault on Islamic State
Supported by a Voyager tanker the aircraft flew armed reconnaissance missions over north-east Syria and northern Iraq. Near Mosul, the Typhoons conducted two attacks with Paveway IV precision guided bombs. Across the border in Syria, two pairs of Tornados worked in close cooperation with an RAF Reaper to target a group of Daesh defensive positions and a large tunnel complex with several entrances.
Air strikes to now focus on hitting command centres and supply lines while continuing to avoid civilian casualties.
RAF combat aircraft have already stepped up strikes in recent weeks. Ministry of Defence figures show that UK air strikes have risen from a monthly average of 29 between May and October last year to more than 80 in December. In the first week of January the RAF conducted 31 strikes.
According to the Ministry of Defence:
“RAF Reapers were in action again on Saturday 30 January. In the area of Ramadi, they conducted two successful attacks with Hellfire missiles against an armoured truck and a mechanical excavator, while a patrol along the border with Syria destroyed another engineering vehicle, used to build defences and attempt repairs to damage from coalition air strikes, near Al Qaim.
On Sunday, a Tornado GR4 flight provided support to the Iraqi army in and around Ramadi: our aircraft used a Brimstone missile to destroy a large truck-bomb, and three Paveways to destroy terrorist positions, including a heavy machine-gun team which had been previously attacking the Iraqi army. In northern Iraq, Typhoons conducted two Paveway attacks on a group of terrorists caught in the open near Mosul, and, slightly further south, a Daesh-held building. A pair of Typhoons also patrolled over eastern Syria, where they employed Paveways to destroy two large clusters of defensive positions.
On Monday 1 February, two Tornados flew reconnaissance and close air support for the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq. Near Kisik Junction, they used a Brimstone missile and three Paveways to attack three rocket launchers and a Daesh vehicle, then over Qayyarah, a further Brimstone and Paveway destroyed an ammunition truck and a mortar position. Typhoons operated in the area of Ramadi, where they conducted successful attacks on three terrorist strongpoints.”