RAF Typhoon Op Shader

No Rest Until Final Nail Is In Terrorists' Coffin, Says Defence Secretary

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reaffirmed his commitment to Daesh's total defeat while meeting his Iraqi counterpart in London.

RAF Typhoon Op Shader

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reaffirmed his commitment to the 'total defeat' of so-called Islamic State (IS) while meeting his Iraqi counterpart, Erfan al-Hiyali, in London. 

Mr al-Hiyali took up the post of Defence minister last January, after the post had been vacant for half a year. 

Mr Williamson said:

"We will not rest until we hammer the final nail in the terrorists’ coffin.

"While Daesh’s territory is diminishing, the threat they pose to our security at home and abroad through their evil and barbaric beliefs remains stark.

"That is why RAF jets continue to strike them in Iraq and Syria to eliminate the threat they pose to our way of life."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier: "It is vital that we stay the course."

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, echoed the importance of continued RAF activity, saying: "With Daesh losing control of its last remaining pockets of territory, they are once more looking purely like the terrorist organisation they are.

"Yet the threat they pose within the region and more widely across the world remains.

"As we have discovered in previous conflicts, if we let up, then we run the risk that Daesh will return. It is vital that we stay the course, alongside our allies, until the job is done."

WATCH: Coalition Airstrike Hits Daesh Compound
A coalition airstrike destroys a Daesh compound

Since 2014, RAF aircraft have carried out nearly 1,700 strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria.

The Ministry of Defence has revealed that in the past three weeks, RAF Typhoons, Tornados and Reapers have destroyed armoured vehicles, terrorist bases, weapon stores and disrupted supply routes.

These missions include: 

  • Typhoons destroyed a mechanical excavator, used by IS to construct fortified positions near the Euphrates river in eastern Syria. 
  • Typhoons and Tornados provided close air support to Syrian Democratic Forces engaged in ground close combat with IS fighters, destroying five terrorist positions.
  • An RAF Reaper patrolled over the Euphrates, striking armed terrorists, including a pair on a motorcycle moving at high speed.
  • Typhoons attacked two IS armoured vehicles north-east of Abu Kamal. A second Typhoon flight destroyed a key road in the area, which will prevent terrorists from moving heavy truck-bombs and equipment along it.
  • Typhoons demolished four IS buildings close to the border with Iraq and a tunnel used by the terrorists as a weapons cache, located in a remote area in northern Iraq.