British Typhoon jets struck a tunnel used by Islamic State.

According to the Ministry of Defence, although the liberation by the Syrian Democratic Forces of Baghuz Fawqani in March 2019 deprived Islamic State of the last remaining territory held by them in Syria and Iraq, ‘constant vigilance has been maintained to ensure that the terrorists are unable to regain a foothold’.

To this end, Royal Air Force and other coalition aircraft have flown daily missions to support partner forces on the ground.

According to the MoD, on Sunday the 19th of May, a pair of Typhoon jets, based at RAF Akrotiri, were tasked to assist the Iraqi security forces with the destruction of a tunnel wherein a group of Daesh were reported to have established themselves.

“Our aircraft carefully checked the area, in the hills to the south-west of Mosul, for any signs of civilian activity that could be placed at risk, before conducting a precision attack with a pair of Paveway IV guided bombs which successfully destroyed the entrance to the tunnel.”

Background on Operation Shader

This section is intended to provide a bit of background on British efforts in the region and if you’ve read it before, please remember others may not have.

By September last year, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theatre and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 1,000 airstrikes, flying over 2,800 sorties, killing over 3,000 Islamic State fighters.

Last year, it was reported that the Royal Air Force was 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.

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Nigel Collins

Perfect opportunity for the F-35B to conduct the strike surely? Or did range play a factor?

“F-35B Aces First Release of a UK Paveway IV Bomb”

Meirion X

Iraq was well in range of Cyprus for a F-35B to conduct air strikes.

Nigel Collins

Let’s hope Tempest is too!
“Sweden joins to British next-generation fighter programme”


F35 didnt arrive in Cyprus until 21 may. This is reported as19th.

Nigel Collins

A missed opportunity then!

Robert Blay

I wouldn’t class not dropping bombs and killing people as a missed opportunity. Quite the opposite in fact.

Nigel Collins

To test the capability of the F-35/Paveway IV Robert Blay.

Robert Blay

I don’t think the range of the F35B will be an issue, its endurance on internal fuel alone is double that of a Harrier GR9 carrying large external tanks. And that operated over Afghan with no issues. Plus we have extensive air to air refuelling assets in theatre.

Nigel Collins

Posted in error, can you delete a post when this happens?