A Royal Air Force Reaper remotely piloted air system struck terrorists moving at speed on a motorcycle this week.
The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that on Monday the 5th February, a Reaper struck a pair of terrorists riding a motorcycle at speed across countryside.
On Wednesday the 7th another Reaper tracked a number of terrorist targets in the same area, allowing two Daesh-held buildings to be struck successfully by coalition fast jets. The Reaper dealt with a third such building used as a firing point against the SDF, whilst two Tornados destroyed a terrorist observation post, then attacked a building from which a Daesh team planting booby-traps was operating.
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.