News story

Update: air strikes against Daesh

The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

Summary

  • Saturday 11 February – Typhoons attacked a tunnel and bunker south-west of Mosul.
  • Sunday 12 February – Tornados destroyed two terrorist supply trucks north-west of Mosul.
  • Tuesday 14 February – Typhoons bombed a Daesh headquarters in north-western Mosul.

Detail

As the Iraqi forces prepare for the offensive to liberate the western half of Mosul, Royal Air Force aircraft have patrolled the approaches to that part of the city, gathering intelligence and striking Daesh targets as they are identified. On Saturday 11 February, two Typhoon FGR4s from RAF Akrotiri, supported by a Voyager tanker and armed with Paveway IV guided bombs, conducted a successful attack on a terrorist tunnel and bunker dug into a hillside some seven miles to the south-west of the city. The following day, a pair of Tornado GR4s were directed towards two Daesh cargo trucks which had been spotted five miles north-west of Mosul. The Tornados each fired a Brimstone missile, resulting in direct hits on both vehicles.

Careful surveillance operations allowed a building on the north-western outskirts of Mosul to be identified as a Daesh headquarters. With Iraqi forces keeping close watch from across the Tigris, a flight of Typhoons were able to conduct a highly accurate attack late at night on Tuesday 14 February; two Paveway IVs demolished the target.

RAF Typhoons bomb a Daesh HQ

UK contribution to the fight against Daesh

Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader
Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader

Campaign against Daesh

Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014
Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014

Previous update

Wednesday 1 February: While other RAF aircraft conducted reconnaissance patrols to assess Daesh activity in Syria and Iraq, Typhoons were tasked with the destruction of a building some twenty miles west of Mosul which intelligence had identified was being used by Daesh as a staging post for the movement of extremists and equipment. A single Paveway IV sufficed to demolish the building once a very careful check had been made by the aircrew for any civilians who might be in the vicinity of the target.

Thursday 2 February: Royal Air Force Tornados, supported as ever by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, patrolled over northern Iraq. Daesh were occupying a building some 20 miles west of Kirkuk, when Tornados, after conducting a careful check against any civilians being close to the target, struck the building with a Paveway IV guided bomb.

Friday 3 February: Typhoons operated over western Mosul as Iraqi forces continued their preparations to liberate that part of the city from the terrorists. Daesh had concealed an artillery piece in an open-sided building on the southern outskirts of west Mosul, covering the approaches to the city. Again, a single Paveway IV from the Typhoons destroyed the target. Meanwhile, a pair of Tornados conducted armed reconnaissance to the north-west of Mosul, where a barge and a smaller boat had been spotted being used by the terrorists on the Tigris. Two Brimstone missiles were fired, sinking both vessels.

Sunday 5 February: Typhoons headed to a remote location some forty miles north-east of Tikrit, where a Daesh headquarters had been identified. The building and a vehicle shed were both destroyed by direct hits from Paveway IVs.

Tuesday 7 February: A group of Daesh fighters, armed with a heavy machine-gun, attempted to cross the Tigris in a boat, close to where the Tornados had sunk the river craft two days earlier. The terrorists were unaware that they were being closely tracked by coalition surveillance aircraft, and a Hellfire missile from an RAF Reaper sank the boat in mid-channel.

Wednesday 8 February: A Tornado flight used two Paveway IVs to destroy a pair of Daesh-held buildings some 20 miles south of Kirkuk. To the north-west of Mosul, a Typhoon mission supported Kurdish forces, and used a Paveway IV to strike a tunnel in which a group of extremists had taken shelter.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

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