Typhoons have destroyed an artillery piece in western Mosul, while Tornado jets sank two vessels on the Tigris.
Typhoons operated over western Mosul as Iraqi forces continued their preparations to liberate that part of the city from the terrorists, according to a press release.
Islamic State had concealed an artillery piece in an open-sided building on the southern outskirts of west Mosul, covering the approaches to the city. Again, a single Paveway IV from the Typhoons destroyed the target.
Meanwhile, a pair of Tornado jets conducted armed reconnaissance to the north-west of Mosul, where a barge and a smaller boat had been spotted being used by the terrorists on the Tigris. Two Brimstone missiles were fired, sinking both vessels.
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).