A Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft System sank a boat carrying an Islamic State heavy machine-gun team across the Tigris near Mosul.
A group of fighters, armed with a heavy machine-gun, attempted to cross the Tigris in a boat on Tuesday the 7th of February, close to where Tornado jets had sunk the river craft two days earlier.
The fighters were unaware that they were being closely tracked by coalition surveillance aircraft, and a Hellfire missile from an RAF Reaper sank the boat in mid-channel.
What is the current status of the air campaign?
In December 2016, 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.
The cost of the operations against Islamic State and other details of the campaign were revealed in a briefing paper. In March 2015 the MoD confirmed that the net additional costs of the military air operation would be met from the Treasury Special Reserve; while the costs of training and equipping the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, and the provision of key enablers, would be met from the MOD’s Deployed Military Activity Pool (DMAP).
In answer to a parliamentary question in September 2016 the MoD set the costs of the operation, between August 2014 and the 31st of March 2016, at £265 million (£45 million in the 2014-15 financial year, and £220 million in the 2015-16 financial year).