The Ministry of Defence has revealed that a Reaper destroyed a booby-trapped large fuel tank in eastern Syria.

According to a release, a Reaper remotely piloted aircraft responded to reports of a terrorist team planting improvised explosive devices north of Hajin on Monday 29 October; its crew were able to spot evidence of their activity around a large fuel tank positioned next to a road.

Having checked that there were no signs of any civilians in the immediate area who might be placed at risk, the Reaper’s crew fired a single Hellfire missile, which safely destroyed the booby-trapped fuel tank.

Background on Operation Shader

The total cost of British operations against Islamic State has been revealed.

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, asked in a Ministry of Defence written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the fight against Daesh.”

Mark Lancaster, The Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, replied:

“The net additional cost of counter-Daesh operations in Financial Year 2017-18 was £583.1 million.”

Additional costs in previous years are as follows:

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 April 2017, 37 Hellfire missiles, 20 Brimstone missiles, 30 unspecified/other armaments were used in the operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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