A Royal Air Force MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft has conducted an airstrike against a group of Islamic State terrorists north of Tikrit in Iraq.
The flight was part of Operation Shader.
The Ministry of Defence say that Iraqi security forces identified a number of Daesh terrorists attempting to re-establish a presence in an area to the north of Tikrit.
“A Royal Air Force Reaper remotely piloted aircraft joined coalition aircraft in supporting the Iraqi operation by tracking the group on Tuesday 14 June, and at an appropriate opportunity, when the terrorists were exposed in the open away from any civilians, conducted a successful attack alongside the other coalition aircraft; the RAF Reaper employed Hellfire missiles.
The group was reported to be destroyed as a result of this Iraqi-led operation, and the terrorists eliminated before they could mount an active threat to the Iraqi people.”
Last year, a Typhoon shot down a drone over Syria. On Tuesday the 14th of December 2021, hostile drone activity was detected around the At Tanf coalition base in Syria.
“A pair of Typhoon FGR4s from Royal Air Force Akrotiri were conducting one of their regular patrols over Syria and Iraq as part of the global coalition against Daesh, and were tasked to investigate. On arrival in the At Tanf area, the pilots were able to identify a small hostile drone, and despite the diminutive size of the target, succeeded in conducting an air to air engagement with an ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile) which eliminated the threat it posed to coalition forces.”
What is Operation Shader?
Operation Shader began on the 9th of August 2014, when the Royal Air Force began a series of humanitarian air aid drops onto Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq.
The air drops were ordered following the genocide of the Yazidi people and other ethnic minorities by Daesh in Northern Iraq, which had led to them fleeing onto the mountainside to escape Daesh. Following the conclusion of the aid drops, the operation quickly changed to become the UK element in the US-led coalition that began the campaign to destroy Daesh. Based out of Cyprus, the Royal Air Force continues to survey and strike targets in Iraq and Syria as part of the Global Coalition under the banner of Op SHADER.
Today, UK jets and drones fly frequent patrols but the reduced presence of Islamic State means fewer engagements.
You can read more about the operation here.