Typhoons attacked terrorist mortar teams in Syria, whilst Tornados destroyed a tank in north-west Iraq and a Islamic State position in Mosul.

Two Typhoons assisted the Syrian Democratic Forces on Wednesday the 17th of May. Their first attack was on a mortar which a coalition surveillance aircraft had spotted north-west of Raqqa.

Having eliminated that threat, the Typhoons then headed to the east of the country, where they bombed two buildings near Al Ulwah which were being used by another mortar team and their spotters.

A Tornado flight meanwhile patrolled over Mosul, where they used a Brimstone missile to strike a terrorist position. Another Tornado flight later struck an Islamic State tank loaded on the back of a heavy transport vehicle in north west Iraq, hitting it with a Brimstone.

What is the current status of the air campaign?

In December 2016, it was reported that the Royal Air Force is operating at its most intense for 25 years in a single theatre of operation which far outstripped the UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan – RAF jets have dropped 11 times more bombs (1,276 strikes) on Syria and Iraq in the preceding 12 months than they had in the busiest year of action in Afghanistan a decade previously.

The cost of the operations against Islamic State and other details of the campaign were revealed in a briefing paper. In March 2015 the MoD confirmed that the net additional costs of the military air operation would be met from the Treasury Special Reserve; while the costs of training and equipping the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, and the provision of key enablers, would be met from the MOD’s Deployed Military Activity Pool (DMAP).

In answer to a parliamentary question in September 2016 the MoD set the costs of the operation, between August 2014 and the 31st of March 2016, at £265 million (£45 million in the 2014-15 financial year, and £220 million in the 2015-16 financial year).

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