Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon welcomed the news of the liberation of Raqqa from Islamic State while warning that ‘there is more to do’.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“With the fall of Raqqah, the head of the snake has been cut off and Daesh has lost its twin capitals in Iraq and now Syria. But the fight against Daesh’s reign of terror is not over. We will continue to hit the terrorists hard in both Syria and Iraq while supporting efforts to rebuild – only by defeating Daesh for good will we reduce the threat to us here at home.

The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to alleviate the humanitarian situation since 2012, working tirelessly with partners on the ground to deliver more than 660,000 lifesaving relief packages including blankets, clothing and hygiene kits in Raqqah alone. We will continue to work closely with our Coalition partners to ensure that Raqqah’s population will be able to return home safely as quickly as conditions allow.”

Three years ago Islamic State was almost at the gates of Baghdad, now it is failing but time and patience are still necessary to bring about their ultimate defeat say officials.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence:

“The UK is committed to maintaining the momentum and to keep up the pressure on the terrorists as the fight moves along the Euphrates River Valley towards the border with Iraq. The RAF and Coalition partners will continue to target Daesh in both Syria and Iraq, supporting local forces on the ground to decisively defeat our common enemy.

The liberation of Raqqah, by non-Regime forces, has yet again proved that Assad can never be a partner against terrorism. This means a national political settlement that secures a transition to a government that can protect the rights of all Syrians, unite the country and end the conflict remains the only solution.”

Recently it was revealed that Royal Air Force strikes have hit Islamic State 1,340 times in Iraq and 262 times in Syria since 2014, say officials.

So-called Islamic State, or ‘Daesh’, fighters are being pinned down by the Royal Air Force in their former stronghold of Raqqa say the Ministry of Defence as the UK marks three years of tackling the barbaric cult in Iraq and Syria.

Royal Air Force aircraft destroyed 17 targets in Syria in a single day last week as the air campaign intensifies, forcing Daesh to splinter and retreat from areas it ruled when the UK voted to begin air strikes in September 2014.

British aircraft have struck Daesh 1,340 times in Iraq and 262 times in Syria. In that time the group has lost territory, finances, leaders and fighters as the 73-member coalition has liberated cities in both countries.

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