Last updated: 17 November 2014 , Ministry of Defence
British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.
Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornados and Reapers, operating as part of the international coalition in support of the Iraqi Government, have conducted further strikes against ISIL.
On Thursday evening, Kurdish peshmerga reported coming under fire from a dug-in machine-gun position. An RAF Reaper remotely piloted air system succeeded in locating the ISIL position, and attacked it with a Hellfire missile. The crew operating the Reaper then identified further ISIL positions, allowing another coalition aircraft to conduct an attack.
Before the end of its patrol, the Reaper crew used another Hellfire to engage an ISIL checkpoint set up to control a road.
Elsewhere in Iraq, another Reaper, investigating reported ISIL activity in response to advancing Iraqi forces, identified terrorists boarding a truck. Despite the vehicle moving off at high speed, the Reaper crew were able to hit it with a Hellfire.
And on Saturday night, Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over western and northern Iraq, supported by a Voyager refuelling tanker. In the western desert, they were tasked to strike an ISIL communications vehicle, which coalition forces had previously identified. A single Brimstone missile was used to conduct an attack.
Later in the patrol, the Tornados were called north to the Mosul area to support Kurdish peshmerga who were under fire from ISIL heavy weapons. Paveway precision guided bombs were used to hit a mortar and firing positions, as well as a bulldozer which the terrorists were using to construct defences against the peshmerga’s advance.
In northern Iraq, a British army team continues to provide training to the peshmerga as part of a wider programme of training and assistance provided by the international community to both the Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces.
RAF transport aircraft provide logistic support, having delivered numerous deliveries of humanitarian aid and military equipment from both the UK and on behalf of other Coalition partners.
13 November - last night a RAF Reaper RPAS was involved in a coalition air strike in the Kirkuk region. The Reaper had been tasked to conduct reconnaissance in an area where Iraqi forces had encountered ISIL fighters. The operators were able to use the Reaper’s advanced systems to identify a number of ISIL positions, enabling another coalition aircraft to attack a command post, bunker, observation post and 2 armed pick-up trucks. They then identified a further 3 positions, and, having carefully checked the area, conducted attacks using the Reaper’s own Hellfire missiles. Initial analysis indicates that the attacks were successful. Other RAF aircraft also continue to fly missions over Iraq, including Tornado GR4s in the armed reconnaissance role, and surveillance, tanker and transport aircraft. A British Army team remains in Erbil, providing training assistance requested by the Kurdish peshmerga.
10 November - saw the first air strike by a RAF Reaper RPAS. A series of coalition missions were conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad, where ISIL terrorists were laying improvised explosive devices. The Reaper, using procedures identical to those of manned aircraft, successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile. In addition, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s used a Brimstone missile to successfully destroy a shipping container used by the terrorists to store equipment near Al Anbar, west of Baghdad.