A Reaper drone provided close air support for Iraqi ground forces continuing their offensive to clear Islamic State from the area around Qayyarah on the 2nd of August.
The Reaper pilot observed terrorists attempting to salvage a heavy machine-gun from a truck that had been hit by a previous coalition strike and successfully engaged them with a Hellfire missile.
A second group of extremists were also attacked with another Hellfire.
UK aircraft then provided targeting support that allowed a coalition fast jet to destroy a mortar team.
Operation Shader is the operational code name given to the British participation in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State.
The operation began in Iraq on the 26th of September 2014, following a formal request for assistance by the Iraqi government.
Prior to this, the Royal Air Force had been engaged in a humanitarian relief effort over Mount Sinjar, which involved multiple aid airdrops by transport aircraft and the airlifting of displaced refugees. By October 2014, the intervention had extended onto Syria with the Royal Air Force only mandated to conduct surveillance flights over the country.
In December 2015, the House of Commons approved British airstrikes against IS in Syria. The UK is one of several countries directly involved in the ongoing Syrian conflict that started in March 2011.
By June 2016, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theater and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 900 airstrikes, flying over 2,200 sorties, killing almost 1,000 Islamic State fighters.