At the weekend a Reaper eliminated a mortar team and Typhoons dealt with a heavy machine-gun. Tornados hit three Islamic State positions in Mosul.

A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft patrolled over Raqqa on Saturday.

A mortar was reported firing on the SDF, and the Reaper’s crew spotted its muzzle flashes from a position concealed beneath a tree. A Hellfire missile destroyed the target.

Typhoons were also active over the city, where they used a Paveway IV to silence a heavy machine-gun which was holding up an SDF advance.

In northern Iraq, two Tornados assisted the Iraqi troops clearing remaining pockets of Islamic State resistance in west Mosul. Paveway IVs were used to destroy two strongpoints from which the Islamic State fighters were directing fire. The Tornados then responded to reports of a heavy machine-gun team and a group of suicide bombers preparing to attack the Iraqis – a third position was duly destroyed with a Paveway IV.

On Sunday 2 July, mixed pairs of Tornados and Typhoons operated over both Mosul and Raqqa. In Mosul, the Iraqi ground forces encountered three groups of snipers – all three positions, plus another Islamic State-held building, were successfully struck with Paveways. In similar fashion, Paveway IVs were used against two terrorist firing points in Raqqa.

Referring to the possibility of civilian casualties, the RAF said:

“The RAF is continuing to support Iraqi forces in their effort to liberate western Mosul. While the operating environment in the city is very challenging, particularly given the closely-packed buildings, very narrow streets, and the density of the urban population, our aircrew have continued to deliver precision strikes in close support of Iraqi troops on the ground.

Daesh’s current tactics, including the illegal use of civilians as human shields, and fighting from sites such as schools, hospitals, religious sites and civilian neighbourhoods, increases the risk to innocent life.

While no military operations come without risk, particularly in dense urban environments and against such inhuman Daesh tactics, the RAF continues to take all steps necessary to minimise civilian casualties.”

Imagery and quotes via the Ministry of Defence.

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