On Christmas Day, Tornado and Typhoon jets attacked three Islamic State targets in and around Mosul.
According to a Ministry of Defence press release:
“Christmas Day saw Mosul blanketed with thick cloud, but both Typhoons and Tornados were able, by dint of close cooperation with the Iraqi forces on the ground, to prosecute Daesh targets in and around the city.”
A pair of Typhoons used a Paveway IV to attack a small bridge used by the terrorists, whilst a Tornado flight attacked two Islamic State strong-points with which the Iraqi troops were engaged in close combat; the first was destroyed by an Enhanced Paveway II guided bomb, the second – from which a machine-gun was firing – was struck by a Paveway IV.
Both attacks were delivered blind through the cloud, but the Iraqi units reported direct hits which eliminated the threats that they had faced.
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).