British forces have continued to conduct air operations against Islamic State.

The following information comes from the Ministry of Defence and details UK combat operations against Islamic State.

  • Monday 9 May – Tornados and Typhoons struck Islamic State targets in western and northern Iraq, including a command post, a tunnel network and mortar and rocket positions.
  • Wednesday 11 May – Tornados provided close air support to Iraqi troops engaged in close combat in western Iraq, destroying a terrorist strongpoint.
  • Thursday 12 May – Typhoons attacked Islamic State positions south-west of Kirkuk, ahead of Kurdish offensive operations.
  • Friday 13 May – Reapers engaged mortar teams and a supply truck in northern Iraq; Tornados destroyed Islamic State positions in western Iraq.
  • Sunday 15 May – Typhoons destroyed a bunker and an engineering vehicle in western Iraq.
  • Monday 16 May – Tornados destroyed a bunker containing ammunition in western Iraq.
  • Tuesday 17 May – Typhoons and Tornados destroyed weapon caches and heavy machine-gun positions in northern and western Iraq.
  • Wednesday 18 May – Typhoons and Tornados struck multiple Islamic State positions, including command and control posts, ammunition and storage buildings near Tal Afar in north-western Iraq.


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Seems to me that the use of Tornados and Typhoons is a bit of a waste of money for these operations. In the absence of actual defensive capabilities by ISIS all of this work can be done by drones.

Darren Sharpe

Make everyone count guys and girls ?

Andreas Iliopoulos

Any further word on the British “clean sheet” with respect to civilian casualties?

We understand nothing has changed.


Based on the descriptions, which i realise could be misleading, we are targeting extremely safe targets which is why no civilian casualties have happened.

The question is whether only going after such safe targets, whether we are effectively fighting with one hand tied behind our backs and so not really making much of a difference, outside the media war.


I wonder if the coalition has revised its contingency plans to rescue downed pilots. After what happened to the Jordan pilot, British pilots shouldn’t be flying unless there’s a solid rescue plan in place.

George Rooney

Just leave it to the Russians who are there to bomb terrorists not take photo opportunities

david southern

If it were that simple. Unfortunately, the Russians are supporting their own political interest. One countries terrorist is anothers freedom fighter. You’ve only to look at Ukraine for Russia double standards where an uprising against an elected government is championed by Putin and where the same situation in Syria dictates Russia backing the government. Shameful state of affairs! I have one thing to thank Putin for and thats his continued support of NATO; without him NATO would be a crumbling weak mess. Now that he’s convinced NATO how dangerous Russia is, we can expect a big increase in our nations… Read more »

Jonny Davies

Shame they are not bombing ISIS

George Rooney

Neither are you. Just posing for the cameras

Toby Parr

The image in the article is a stock image from last year, other personnel are assigned to take photo’s, while others actually conduct thee action, what’s wrong with a few pictures?

George Rooney

All posing for the media and little action. The Russians turned the tide against the Islamofascist horde unlike the British which gives them covert support

David Southern

I think its more accurate to say they turned the tide against the rebel forces and in favour of the Syrian government, isn’t it? And since the rebel forces have no air defence its a bit one sided. They dropped an impressive number of ‘dumb’ bombs. Maybe we should have a squadron of Lancasters to do the same 😉

UK Defence Journal

Please don’t post conspiracy nonsense hear George Rooney

Jonny Davies

There is one reason and one reason alone why Russia is in Syria, that is to prop up the Assad regime the majority of the airstrikes have been against rebel groups fighting Assad.


Politicians and the RAF acting all tough… we have eight bloody jets. Meanwhile a USN super carrier and the French Charles De Gaul have just completed their thousandth sortie… need to pull their head out of their backsides…. pretentious bullocks….


Why is ther always some lunatic saying something positive about Russia ?

Bloke down the pub

George, the Russians are there to prop up their ally, not to bomb terrorists. They are happy for Isis to carry on if it serves that end.

Spitfire, sorties does not equal bombs dropped. While we’d all like to see Isis have the sh*t knocked out of them, unfortunately it is often better to rtb with full pylons. If it is difficult to find enough clear targets for eight jets, what would be the point of us sending a larger force?


Bloke down the pub… point taken old boy.

A few more jets I feel would give us more credibility however…


How do our drone deployments compare though? Isn’t the UK pretty well represented there? I think we have 10 armed Reapers (with funding committed to replace them with 20 bigger ones in the fairly near future) and all of those 10 are in front-line service barring the odd maintenance break. Also, all ours are armed vs the French ones (for instance) which I believe are not so France presumably are doing no strike missions with drones. Ultimately I agree though, the sooner we can ramp up operational F-35 numbers on our carriers the better. Having 12 available which will probably… Read more »


I don’t think the F35’s will make any difference here. We have almost 100 typhoons and similar number of tornados and yet we only deploy a handful for this mission.

I don’t know the real reason why we are not deploying more, but i assume we know it is an unwinnable conflict and so not worth the cost involved of deploying serious numbers. That combined with IS keeping their forces dispersed to minimize how effective bombs can be.