A pair of Tornado jets struck a headquarters and training centre for Islamic State recruits, which was located in a former palace of Saddam Hussein.
The strike was part of a carefully coordinated coalition attack on the compound, which housed and trained recruits and contained outbuildings for internal security and repression.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Daesh has been losing followers and territory for months, and emphatic strikes like this show that we and the coalition will not waver.
Daesh fighters, both foreign and home grown, can see that they are targets inside this cult.”
During his visit to RAF Akrotiri yesterday, where Tornado and Typhoon and Tornado aircraft are flying daily missions against Daesh, Mr Fallon also announced that additional UK troops will deploy to Iraq to support the military effort against Islamic State later this month. The trainers are the first wave of the latest uplift to the UK’s contribution to the Counter Islamic State campaign. They will be based at the Al Asad airbase where they will provide counter improvised explosive device (c-IED), first aid and infantry skills training.
Mr Fallon said:
“These troops will bolster a campaign that has Daesh on the back foot.
The uplift underlines that Britain is stepping up, not stepping back from our International commitments, following the EU referendum.”
UK troops have helped to train over 21,000 Iraqi forces and carried out over 900 strikes – a contribution second only the United States. The UK government also recently delivered around £1.4 million worth of machine gun and sniper ammunition the Kurdish Peshmerga who are battling Islamic State in the north of Iraq.