News story

RAF conducts first air strikes of Iraq mission

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have been in action over Iraq today in the fight against ISIL.

This action is part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi government.

In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, 2 Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north west Iraq who were under attack from ISIL terrorists.

On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using the Litening III targeting pod, identified an ISIL heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces.

One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the ISIL position.

Following this engagement, the patrol identified an ISIL armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile.

An initial assessment indicates that both precision strikes were successful.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Halting the advance of ISIL and helping the Iraqi government turn it back, and helping the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces to do that, is a huge task and is going to be a long campaign.

But the RAF have been flying day and night since Parliament gave that authority last Friday and they have been flying important missions, gathering intelligence, deterrents against ISIL terrorism, driving them back from the villages, as well as being there in close support when they are tasked to go down and help, in particular fighting, and that’s now what they’ve done today.

For more information see ISIL: UK government response page on GOV.UK