A Reaper attacked a group of terrorists caught in the open in eastern Syria, whilst Typhoon jets collapsed the entrance to a cave containing stockpiled weapons in northern Iraq.

On Sunday the 28th of October, a Reaper conducted armed reconnaissance over the Abu Kamal area, and carried out a successful attack with a Hellfire missile, striking a group of terrorists spotted manoeuvring through fields, say the MoD.

In northern Iraq, an Islamic State stockpile of weapons had been identified in a set of caves on a hillside thirty miles north-west of Kirkuk; a Typhoon flight was able to collapse the entrance to the caves using Paveway IVs.

Operation Shader

By September 2017, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theatre and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 900 airstrikes, flying over 2,200 sorties, killing 3,000 Islamic State fighters.

Last year, 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.

As of March last year, the MoD says the operation has cost the UK taxpayers £265 million so far. As of April 2017, 37 Hellfire missiles, 20 Brimstone missiles, 30 unspecified/other armaments were used in the operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

11 COMMENTS

      • What’s my point?what the hell are we bombing bloody caves with multimillion pound weapons systems that is my point another point what the hell are we doing there anyway it’s a convoluted bloody mess let the Syrians and ruskies deal with it.

        • They bombed the caves to stop the terrorists from getting the weapons inside. I believe using a bomb is the quickest most efficient way of achieving this. We do have a military and a military budget that are both there to be used. There are multiple reasons why we are there, a couple of which are: to ensure our armed forces remain highly trained and to demonstrate our capabilities to potential rivals.

        • The cave is in Iraq. Why do you think the Syrians and Russians should go there? Be thankful arms can be destroyed wth no human cost.

          I do however wonder how much longer Op Shader will last.

  1. Good stuff. Hopefully actions like this will help with the debate to secure more funding for the armed forces. If we can operate the RAF at this tempo with the current level of funding Imagine what could be done with more financial input. I would like to see more articles like this in the mainstream media to raise awareness of the excellent job that is being done.
    I do appreciate the need to combine increased funding with a continued drive for greater efficiency including the implementation of lean principles, but I see no reason why they cannot be done at the same time.

  2. This highlights power of drones. The drones can do close air support a lot more efficiently and without risk to expensive jets and air crew.
    When you the factor in flight costs the mathematics is firmly in the drones corner. I guess typhoon stood off to avoid MPSAM systems? Likely with a large group of ISIS fighters.

    • As a Navy person, would not the Drones be more vulnerable to MPSAM Attacks close in than the Typhoons at longer Distances ?

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