Typhoons taxi at RAF Akrotiri before night mission
Iraq

UK Launches First Anti-Daesh Air Strikes Since September

Royal Air Force aircraft successfully targeted members of the terror group while on a coalition reconnaissance patrol.

Typhoons taxi at RAF Akrotiri before night mission

The RAF has carried out its first air strikes against Daesh since September 2019.

Two Typhoon jets on a counter-terrorism mission over northern Iraq conducted the strikes.

The aircraft, along with an RAF Reaper, identified terrorists occupying a group of fortified buildings in an isolated location west of Tuz Khurma on 10 April.

The area is known to be inhabited by active terrorist commanders and fighters.

The aircraft checked the area for non-combatants before using a combination of precision guided bombs to destroy the buildings.

A Ministry of Defence statement said: "The surveillance aircraft continued to scan the area, confirming that all weapons had struck their targets and there was no collateral damage. Subsequent intelligence indicated that it was a successful operation."

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Britain’s adversaries have not let COVID-19 stop them posing a risk to our citizens and allies.

"It is for that reason that defence continues to take whatever steps are necessary – at home and abroad – to keep the nation safe.

"The use of RAF jets and a Reaper aircraft to deliver a successful strike against Daesh terrorists and their hide out demonstrates that the UK’s Defence never sleeps and will always do what is necessary to protect our people."

The RAF have continually flown daily armed reconnaissance missions over Iraq and eastern Syria as part of the global coalition but without any targeting since September last year.

The last RAF air strike was on 25 September when two Typhoons responded to reports that a small group of extremists had been engaged in fighting with Iraqi security forces.

Coalition surveillance aircraft tracked the terrorists after the engagement to a desert location forty miles west of Bayji.

They then used Paveway IV guided bombs to destroy the two key buildings occupied by the terrorists.

Cover image: RAF Typhoons, similar to those used in the recent strikes (Picture: RAF).