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Typhoon jets and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft were in combat over Iraq last week, engaging many Islamic State targets.

A Reaper successfully engaged yet another group of Islamic State terrorists armed with rocket-propelled grenades; a number of secondary explosions followed the impact of the Hellfire missile as the grenades caught fire.

Typhoons also continued their patrols over western Iraq, along the Euphrates valley to the north-west of Ramadi, and used a Paveway IV to destroy an armed truck which the extremists had tried in vain to conceal under a large vehicle shelter.

Operation Shader is the operational code name given to the British participation in the ongoing military intervention against the Islamic State.

The operation began in Iraq on the 26th of September 2014, following a formal request for assistance by the Iraqi government.

Prior to this, the Royal Air Force had been engaged in a humanitarian relief effort over Mount Sinjar, which involved multiple aid airdrops by transport aircraft and the airlifting of displaced refugees.

By October 2014, the intervention had extended onto Syria with the Royal Air Force only mandated to conduct surveillance flights over the country.

In December 2015, the House of Commons approved British airstrikes against IS in Syria. The UK is one of several countries directly involved in the ongoing Syrian conflict that started in March 2011, utilising Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper aircraft.

By June 2016, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theatre and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 900 airstrikes, flying over 2,200 sorties, killing almost 1,000 Islamic State fighters.

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