Royal Air Force Tornado and Typhoon combat aircraft have been carrying out sorties against Islamic State snipers targeting allied troops.

Earlier, Tornado jets struck a target scoring a direct hit with a Paveway IV guided bomb which left the building ablaze according to the MoD.

Later, two mixed pairs of Tornado and Typhoon jets, supported by a Voyager tanker, provided close air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces pushing into Raqqa and to the Iraqi troops clearing remaining Islamic State positions in west Mosul.

A Brimstone missile accounted for a sniper team in Raqqa, and a Paveway similarly dealt with snipers in Mosul.

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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The RAF should be using less sophisticated aircraft for this task. £50K an hour is not good value against this threat.


Agreed – unless the Iraqis pay the bill.


Should, the risk is though that they ask for a few, receive a few, use a few then lose a couple squadrons of sophisticated aircraft without replacement. Both sides of parliament hate the military so here we are.

Mr Paul Raymond Barrett

Name me an UK aircraft that could do this roll?


hundred million pound aircraft hunting individual men.

what a waste.


Only a waste if you are not the poor guy who has to go in and clear them out on the ground.

Put it this way, if it was our army on the ground wouldn’t we spend what it took in order to clear threats before we put them in danger?

Plus I’m not sure I would be happy as an RAF pilot being handed a hawk, or similar, to fly over that air space knowing the Ruskies are there with their anti air and considerably better aircraft.


Of course we should be using Reapers with LMMs for this sort of job, but using Typhoons and A330 AAR is the RAFs way of justifying having long range/AAR aircraft and expensive missiles. The situation won’t change because our 3 services are fighting for cash, and if one service gets their stuff used there is no incentive for them to offer up a cheaper solution because that will attract less cash to that service in the future. Note that the CDS is currently Stuart Peach of the RAF, and that the RN have only held the post once in 30… Read more »