The Reaper’s crew spotted the conventional winged drone on a flat roof where it had landed.
The terrorist drone was reported north of Abu Kamal in the Euphrates valley of Syria on Thursday the 8th of March, and a Reaper was tasked with hunting for it say the Royal Air Force.
Having conducted a careful check for any signs of civilian life in the area, the drone was then destroyed by a direct hit from a Hellfire missile. In similar fashion, a Typhoon flight armed with Paveway IV guided bombs was able to strike successfully an Islamic State team flying a quadcopter drone from a building in the Euphrates valley on Saturday the 10th of March.
Although Islamic State have largely been defeated within Iraq, RAF and other coalition aircraft have remained available to support the Iraqi security forces as necessary. Last month, a Typhoon flight was tasked with the destruction of a tunnel, used by the terrorists as a weapons storage area, located in a remote area in northern Iraq,more than 15 miles south-east of Hawijah.
The aircraft destroyed the tunnel and the weapons cache therein with two Paveway IVs.
Status of the campaign
RAF aircraft have carried out nearly 1,700 strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since 2014. The UK have deployed Reaper UAVs, Typhoon jets and Tornados, have conducted significant ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) missions and have provided additional air support such as inflight refuelling and transporting.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The UK will not be complacent when it comes to terrorism – a point I reaffirmed with my Global Coalition counterparts today. We pledged to continue to fight terrorists until their poisonous global network is totally destroyed. Despite Daesh’s diminishing territory, it is hell-bent on directing and inspiring terrorist attacks worldwide – threatening our security at home and abroad. The threat they pose is evolving and intensifying but our resolve to defeat them will not fade.”
The MoD say it is working to ‘secure Daesh’s lasting defeat’ by working with legitimate local authorities to ensure a stable, prosperous and united future for affected communities in both Iraq and Syria. Daesh must not be allowed to re-emerge. It was recently 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.
The MoD says the operation has cost the UK taxpayers £265 million so far.