5 February 2015 Ministry of Defence
British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.
British forces have again struck at ISIL, as part of the international coalition’s efforts to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the terrorist organisation.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 4 February, a pair of Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol to assist the Iraqi armed forces in their offensive operations against ISIL around Bayji. Two ISIL armoured vehicles were identified in a building and were attacked with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, scoring direct hits.
Military support is just one part of the UK Government’s contribution to the global coalition strategy to defeat ISIL – we are also taking action to counter the terrorist network’s finances, are restricting the flow of foreign fighters and have provided vital humanitarian relief to help those affected by ISIL’s brutality. The RAF contribution includes Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which, like the Tornados, provide reconnaissance and close air support to the Iraqi ground forces; a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker; a Sentry airborne surveillance and command aircraft; and air transport aircraft as necessary. British military training teams continue to teach infantry and first aid skills to the Kurdish peshmerga, and liaison teams are embedded within Iraqi and coalition headquarters. Having previously provided military equipment to the Iraqi forces, Britain plans to gift Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detectors to help the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers protect themselves against the numerous improvised explosive devices on which ISIL are increasingly relying as they are forced back by successful offensives. In the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless is operating in direct support of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, which provides a significant part of the coalition’s air effort.
Previous air strikes
2 February: Early on Monday, Tornado GR4s provided close air support to Iraqi army operations approximately 70 kilometres north west of Baghdad, and dropped 2 Paveway IVs on ISIL positions engaged in a firefight with the Iraqi troops.