A Royal Air Force MQ-9A Reaper remotely piloted air system has killed a Daesh terrorist in northern Syria.

The RAF say here that on Monday the 25th of October, “the crew of a remotely piloted Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, tracked a known terrorist in northern Syria, near the city of Ras al Ayn, and at a safe moment, when the individual was alone in a field, carried out a successful strike.”

Describing the platform on their website, the RAF say:

“The MQ-9 Reaper (Reaper MQ-9A) is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) aircraft designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), and attack missions.  The aircraft’s persistence and array of surveillance sensors are an essential complement to the RAF’s crewed platforms.”

Earlier in the year, Iraqi ground forces conducting security operations approximately thirty miles south of Erbil came under fire from a Daesh position in an area of heavy vegetation. In response, two British Typhoon jets responded to a call for assistance and used a single Paveway IV guided bomb to “successfully eliminate the threat”.

The number of airstrikes carried out in Iraq and Syria has been described as “second only to the United States”. The operation was also previously described as the most intense flying mission the RAF has undertaken in 25 years.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Lebron (@guest_598107)
2 years ago

Brilliant news , but a Hellfire missile for one guy in a field seems a tad excessive

Jay (@guest_598142)
2 years ago
Reply to  Lebron

APKWS would be better use for this kind of ‘kill ‘ , pity we havent invested in this effective and way cheaper system for soft targets

DanielMorgan (@guest_598355)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jay

One slight problem. Predator isn’t armed with or qualified to fire an APKWS.

Ijiv (@guest_600124)
2 years ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

to be fair the US dont use apkws on anything for certain reasons

the UK could and should invest into it and it could very easily be certified for predators.

also could be carried on apaches and wildcats

it would be a great investment but oh well

eclipse (@guest_598112)
2 years ago

I don’t know, unless the terrorist was very high ranking I think a Hellfire missile is a little too much for a single one. Surely we could have gotten sniper or something. Unless this was to demonstrate drone capabilities.

Airborne (@guest_598115)
2 years ago

Fellas no! A single Hellfire taking out an ISIS cockroach is a missile and money well spent. The amount of ordnance that is expended on operations with no or little effect is shocking. This is one of those good news stories which makes us all smile and thanks the people involved. Sometimes getting ground based assets in location for a shoot or other means is either not realistic, feasible or operational effective, so a Hellfire strike is good enough. Here’s to more dead cockroaches 🚮🚾😁

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_598119)
2 years ago
Reply to  Airborne

I totally agree. If it’s the best way of doing it at the time go for it. No point in letting the target get away. He wouldn’t of even heard it coming.
hellfire isn’t too much, not like we shot a tomahawk or stormshadow up there arse.
ive not kept up to date with Syria etc recently. It’s dropped off the news feeds.
i really hope a bit of normal life can return to Syria and Yemen soon. It’s the poor buggers stuck living there that I feel sorry for.

Bob (@guest_598168)
2 years ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Couldn’t agree more. Religion and systemic corruption, the bane of the people.

Desmond Moloney
Desmond Moloney (@guest_598205)
2 years ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The middle east around Israel is bubbling hot at the moment. Peace. Soon. No 😀

Tomartyr (@guest_598120)
2 years ago
Reply to  Airborne

Agreed, why risk an unknown number of men and money when instead we can pay a known price and be done with it? Better saving are to be found in reducing the costs of the missiles rather than limiting our capabilities and hoping for the best.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_598183)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

The cost of the missile is in the R&D and what is in the nose cone.

Whatever you do it will need decent guidance.

That said a simple free fall kinetic guided round would have done this job

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_598128)
2 years ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yes, well said.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_598193)
2 years ago

Well said, there are occasions were SF assets might be called in to reach out and say hello with .338, but why risk lives when a Hellfire can do it safely and rather decisively!

Money very well spent…..

These people are lower than sewer rats, vile individuals, who’s one and only aim to to spread death and hatred to the world.

Jay (@guest_598143)
2 years ago
Reply to  Airborne


Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_598129)
2 years ago

In a field on his own. What was he doing, having a p***?!

Bob (@guest_598169)
2 years ago

Possibly using a phone? but I prefer your answer😂

Lusty (@guest_598211)
2 years ago

What a time to go!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay. (@guest_598132)
2 years ago

He must have been a pretty high value target, that they have probably being trying to track and engage for a while. Getting accurate Intel on these guys movements must be very difficult, and testament to the persistence and ISTAR capabilities and accuracy these systems provide. Protector will be another step up in this area. When people have a good moan about our Force’s, they forget that on a daily basis we are still operating in some of the most remote and difficult areas of operations in the world, thousands of miles from our safe and pleasant land. With our… Read more »

Oleg Olkha
Oleg Olkha (@guest_598161)
2 years ago

So we’re not dealing with a barefooted hiker. By car?

Donaldson (@guest_598239)
2 years ago

What does the RAF drone fleet look like at the moment; And what will it look like in the future?

RobW (@guest_598243)
2 years ago
Reply to  Donaldson

9 Reapers, to be replaced by 16 Protectors in a few years time. There have been some reports that the RAF want to operate both types together, but for now it seems the Reapers will be retired.

The RAF is also developing their Lanca drone concept, which is being run by Team Mosquito, and is expected to fly in 2023. It is still being determined how this is integrated with other platforms but the idea is that it could fly with or without Tempest, F35B, and possibly Typhoon, as their “loyal wingman”. Early days though.

Jonathan (@guest_598246)
2 years ago

I would assume there would have been a person on the ground tracking this guy ? Otherwise it would seem to be a pretty impossible job to keep track of one person via a drone ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_598252)
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Depends. If he was using a phone/satphone then UK/USA can geolocate using Ghosthunter for starters, and probably other tech nobody knows about.

Otherwise, SRR maybe, or a source.