20 December 2015 Ministry of Defence
British forces have continued to conduct air operations in the fight against Daesh
Royal Air Force aircraft have continued operations against Daesh, including the most intensive day of air strikes so far.
Our Tornados, Typhoons and Reapers are flying daily armed reconnaissance missions against Daesh, and the additional aircraft which we have deployed to RAF Akrotiri allow us to conduct operations over Syria whilst still providing very effective support to the Iraqi and Kurdish troops, who have already liberated some 40% of the Iraqi territory first seized by the terrorists in summer 2014
On Tuesday 15 December, two Tornado GR4s patrolled over eastern Syria and northern Iraq and conducted a successful attack with a Paveway IV laser and GPS guided bomb to destroy a terrorist mortar position near Sinjar. Further south, two Typhoon FGR4s supported the Iraqi army in its operations around Ramadi, and struck a Daesh encampment with two Paveway IVs. A second pair of Tornados flew another mission over northern Iraq and destroyed an enemy mortar with a Paveway.
Wednesday 16 December proved to be the most intensive day of combat operations by RAF aircraft since the start of the campaign in September 2014. A pair of Tornados assisted the Iraqi troops battling Daesh on the outskirts of Ramadi, and used Paveway IVs to destroy two heavy machine-gun positions, a sniper team and a group of terrorist fighters.
In northern Iraq, two Tornados, two Typhoons and two Reapers, provided sustained close air support to the Kurdish peshmerga. Our aircraft delivered numerous precision attacks on terrorist targets, to the north and west of Mosul where the peshmerga were engaged in close combat with Daesh, using a mixture of Brimstone, Hellfire, Paveway IV and GBU-12 missiles and bombs. In total, these RAF strikes are estimated to have successfully destroyed four heavy machine-gun positions, two terrorist teams armed with rockets, three Daesh vehicles, one of which was a large truck-bomb, and six groups of terrorists. In addition, the two Reapers were able to use their advanced reconnaissance sensors to assist twelve successful attacks by other coalition aircraft. A further pair of Typhoons conducted tactical reconnaissance and another Tornado mission returned to Ramadi, where they destroyed a heavy machine-gun position and two terrorist-held buildings.
Operations continued on Thursday 17 December, when a Tornado patrol south of Sinjar was able to destroy three vehicles with Brimstone missiles. In western Iraq, Typhoons worked very closely with an advancing Iraqi unit which had discovered a string of improvised explosive devices blocking the road. The Typhoons dropped a pair of Paveway IVs, which safely detonated the Daesh booby-traps. During the evening, another Tornado mission in northern Iraq located a large group of terrorists massing for an attempted attack on a Kurdish position, and delivered two Paveways into their midst.