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UK – The British Royal Air Force(RAF) Takes the Fight To Daesh In Iraq And Syria

The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

RAF GR4 Tornado flares apr 2004 140 hires


  • Thursday 2 February – Tornados demolished a Daesh-held building west of Kirkuk.
  • Friday 3 February – Typhoons destroyed an artillery piece in western Mosul, while Tornados sank two river vessels on the Tigris, north-west of the city.
  • Sunday 5 February – Typhoons bombed a headquarters and a vehicle shed in northern Iraq.
  • Tuesday 7 February – A Reaper sank a boat carrying a terrorist heavy machine-gun team across the Tigris near Mosul.
  • Wednesday 8 February – Tornados destroyed two Daesh buildings south of Kirkuk, while Typhoons struck terrorists concealed in a tunnel north-west of Mosul.

RAF Tornado GR4 Aircarft During Operation Ellamy MOD 45155728


Royal Air Force Tornados, supported as ever by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, patrolled over northern Iraq on Thursday 2 February. Daesh were occupying a building some 20 miles west of Kirkuk, when Tornados, after conducting a careful check against any civilians being close to the target, struck the building with a Paveway IV guided bomb.

The following day, Typhoons operated over western Mosul as Iraqi forces continued their preparations to liberate that part of the city from the terrorists. Daesh had concealed an artillery piece in an open-sided building on the southern outskirts of west Mosul, covering the approaches to the city. Again, a single Paveway IV from the Typhoons destroyed the target. Meanwhile, a pair of Tornados conducted armed reconnaissance to the north-west of Mosul, where a barge and a smaller boat had been spotted being used by the terrorists on the Tigris. Two Brimstone missiles were fired, sinking both vessels.

On Sunday 5 February, Typhoons headed to a remote location some forty miles north-east of Tikrit, where a Daesh headquarters had been identified. The building and a vehicle shed were both destroyed by direct hits from Paveway IVs.

A group of Daesh fighters, armed with a heavy machine-gun, attempted to cross the Tigris in a boat on Tuesday 7 February, close to where the Tornados had sunk the river craft two days earlier. The terrorists were unaware that they were being closely tracked by coalition surveillance aircraft, and a Hellfire missile from an RAF Reaper sank the boat in mid-channel.

A Tornado flight used two Paveway IVs on Wednesday 8 February to destroy a pair of Daesh-held buildings some 20 miles south of Kirkuk. To the north-west of Mosul, a Typhoon mission supported Kurdish forces, and used a Paveway IV to strike a tunnel in which a group of extremists had taken shelter.

UK contribution to the fight against Daesh

Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader
Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader

Campaign against Daesh

Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014
Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014

Previous update

Wednesday 1 February: While other RAF aircraft conducted reconnaissance patrols to assess Daesh activity in Syria and Iraq, Typhoons were tasked with the destruction of a building some twenty miles west of Mosul which intelligence had identified was being used by Daesh as a staging post for the movement of extremists and equipment. A single Paveway IV sufficed to demolish the building once a very careful check had been made by the aircrew for any civilians who might be in the vicinity of the target.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

[Source: UK Ministry of Defence-Media Relations]

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