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Thursday 1 September:
A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft operated over Raqqa in Syria, where its crew helped identify a large stockpile of explosive materials at an industrial site, awaiting the manufacture of improvised explosive devices and other home-made weaponry. An attack using Hellfire missiles destroyed much of the stockpile, and left the remainder on fire. Near Qayyarah, Tornados providing close air support to Iraqi ground forces conducted a successful Paveway IV attack against a weapons cache hidden in a line of trees.
Saturday 3 September:
A Reaper kept close watch on a Daesh vehicle check point in north-western Iraq, in the Tall Afar region, which was being used by the terrorists to harass local civilian traffic. The Reaper’s crew waited patiently until there were no civilian vehicles in the area, then destroyed the check point with a direct hit from a Hellfire.
Sunday 4 September:
Typhoons patrolled over western Iraq and engaged a group of terrorists who had been spotted several miles north of Ramadi. Although they attempted to seek cover beneath some trees, the extremists were struck accurately by a Paveway IV.
Tuesday 6 September:
Qayyarah remains the focus for significant Iraqi offensive operations, and Royal Air Force aircraft have continued to contribute to the supporting coalition air effort. Two Tornado GR4s used Paveway IV guided bombs and Brimstone missiles to attack a large dispersed group of mechanical excavators and heavy trucks being used by Daesh to construct defensive positions in the area; at least 7 vehicles were destroyed outright.
Thursday 8 September:
Tornados continued operations over northern Iraq. Intelligence had identified a bomb-making factory and associated terrorist training facility in neighbouring compounds to the west of Tall Afar. A pair of Tornados struck both targets accurately with Paveway IVs, then proceeded to provide close air support to local Iraqi forces, in the course of which they conducted a further successful Paveway attack against 2 rocket launchers. A second pair of Tornados meanwhile patrolled east of Mosul, where they used Paveway IVs against 2 groups of Daesh extremists who had been spotted by a coalition surveillance aircraft.
Friday 9 September:
Typhoon FGR4s were tasked to engage a howitzer which Daesh were attempting to bring into position some miles north of Ramadi. The artillery piece and its towing vehicle were well concealed under trees, but the Typhoons were nevertheless able to score a direct hit with a Paveway IV. Near Qayyarah, a Reaper remotely piloted aircraft spotted a mortar team as they uncovered their weapon and began firing at Iraqi positions, but a Hellfire missile quickly removed the threat.
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September:
Reaper operations over Qayyarah continued. On Saturday, a Reaper used a Hellfire to destroy a vehicle-borne mortar team, then located a large group of twelve rocket launchers being readied for firing. A Hellfire from the Reaper killed the terrorist who was preparing the weapons for launch, and the Reaper was then able to guide a coalition jet to the scene, so that it could use its larger guided bombs to destroy the rocket launchers. The following day, another Reaper successfully used a Hellfire against a further terrorist mortar team near Qayyarah. In eastern Syria, Tornados provided support to the Syrian democratic forces by using a salvo of 4 Paveway IVs to demolish a large building in which Daesh fighters, including snipers, had fortified themselves.
Iraqi ground forces, having liberated first the nearby airfield, then the town of Qayyarah from Daesh, continue to conduct offensive operations in the surrounding area and north towards Al Hawd. They have been well supported by coalition aircraft, with Royal Air Force Reapers putting their ability to remain on patrol for extended periods of time to valuable use in hunting down Daesh mortar teams attempting to conduct harassing fire against the Iraqi advance.
Monday 12 September:
One Reaper successfully located and attacked, using Hellfire missiles, 3 different terrorist mortars near Qayyarah.
Wednesday 14 September:
Another Reaper accounted for a further 2 mortar teams, 1 near Qayyarah, the other closer to Al Hawd. The same day, Typhoon FGR4s patrolled further north, around Mosul; south-east of the city, they were tasked to engage 2 Daesh held buildings which Iraqi forces had encountered out in the countryside. Both targets were demolished using Paveway IV guided bombs.
Thursday 15 September:
A Reaper tracked terrorists carrying mortar ammunition near Al Hawd. The terrorists led them to a concealed mortar, which was duly struck with a Hellfire. In western Iraq, a group of Daesh had been identified hiding in a cave some 10 miles south-east of Haditha; 2 Typhoons scored a direct hit on the cave entrance with 1 Paveway IV, then used a second to destroy their truck parked some distance away.
Friday 16 September:
Tornado GR4s patrolled the Euphrates valley in western Iraq. North-west of Ramadi, they successfully attacked, using Paveway IV guided bombs, a Daesh held building.
Saturday 17 September:
A Reaper joined other coalition aircraft in a strike against a reported Daesh position south of Dayr az Zawr in Syria, but this was later alleged to have in fact been a position held by Syrian regime forces; a detailed investigation into the incident is being conducted by the coalition. In Iraq, however, a second Reaper provided effective close air support to Iraqi forces operating near Qayyarah. The Reaper provided surveillance support to 2 successful coalition air strikes on Daesh mortar teams, then used its own Hellfire missiles to destroy a 152mm howitzer and its tow vehicle.
Sunday 18 September:
A Reaper was again active near Qayyarah when it destroyed a terrorist truck with a Hellfire missile. To the north of Mosul, Tornados employed an Enhanced Paveway II and a Paveway IV to strike a Daesh strongpoint and an armed truck, then used a second Paveway IV to attack a group of terrorists on foot. Intelligence had identified a Daesh facility in western Iraq, close to the Syrian border, and Typhoon FGR4s used 3 Paveway IV bombs against this target, then provided close air support to Iraqi forces operating north-west of Ramadi: 3 more Paveway IVs accounted for a group of rocket launchers and a weapons cache.
Monday 19 September:
Operations in the area north of Ramadi continued when Tornados used an Enhanced Paveway II guided bomb to destroy a Daesh supply store, and 2 Paveway IVs to destroy a neighbouring headquarters. Tornados also operated over north-western Iraq, where a Brimstone missile was used to destroy a terrorist vehicle spotted some 10 miles north-west of Tall Afar. Paveway IV-armed Typhoons bombed a Daesh fuel store north of Ramadi on Tuesday 20 September, whilst a Reaper flew overwatch for an Iraqi army brigade as it advanced near Sharqat. The Reaper provided support to 2 coalition air attacks which destroyed a truck bomb, another terrorist vehicle and a large group of extremists, then used a GBU-12 guided bomb to conduct its own attack on a further group of insurgents spotted in the open. The Reaper’s crew tracked 2 terrorists as they went to a building and collected a second truck bomb which was concealed under a carport, then followed the truck bomb as it was driven away from an inhabited area. As the truck bomb rendezvoused with another Daesh vehicle, it was struck with a Hellfire missile. Both vehicles were destroyed by the subsequent blast.
Wednesday 21 September:
A Reaper and 2 flights of Tornados again provided close air support to Iraqi forces near Sharqat. A Hellfire from the Reaper killed a number of terrorists and badly damaged their nearby vehicle, while a Brimstone and 2 Paveway IVs from the Tornados struck another 2 groups of terrorists and a truck. The Tornados also used a Paveway IV to sink a barge that was being used to ferry a truck bomb across the Tigris. A Reaper patrolled over eastern Syria and north-western Iraq, and destroyed a terrorist check point in the Tall Afar region with a Hellfire. In western Iraq, Typhoons bombed a bunker on the northern bank of the Euphrates.
Thursday 22 September:
Operations near Sharqat and Qayyarah continued. South-west of Sharqat, a Reaper kept watch as a terrorist truck collected weapons and equipment from 3 different locations; it was then destroyed with a Hellfire missile. The Reaper’s crew then tracked a second vehicle, waited until the Daesh occupants got out, and struck them with another Hellfire. A Tornado mission conducted a successful Brimstone attack on an armed truck hidden in a culvert beneath a railway line near Qayyarah, then flew to the north-east of Mosul where a Paveway IV was used to destroy a Daesh held building.
Friday 23 September:
A Royal Air Force Reaper scouted ahead of the Iraqi advance near al Hawd. The Reaper’s crew spotted a Daesh truck on the move, loaded with rockets. A direct hit from a Hellfire missile on the driver’s cab and engine brought the vehicle to an immediate halt and a second missile safely destroyed its cargo. In western Iraq, 2 Typhoons patrolled to the north-west of Ramadi, where they used a pair of Paveway IV guided bombs against 2 terrorist mortar positions located within a palm grove.
Saturday 24 September:
A Reaper was again flown over the Tigris, near Qayyarah, where it provided surveillance support to a coalition air strike that destroyed a Daesh headquarters. The Reaper then turned its attention to several groups of extremists out in the open. Hellfire attacks struck 1 mortar team and 2 groups of terrorists. A few survivors of the attacks then boarded a motorboat, hoping to make their escape across the Tigris, but a fourth Hellfire sank them at the mooring.
Sunday 25 September:
A Reaper was again back in the skies near Qayyarah where it conducted 4 attacks on Daesh targets using its Hellfire weapons. Another mortar was destroyed, and 3 missiles eliminated a group of terrorists engaged in a close quarters fight with Iraqi troops.
Monday 26 September:
Tornados used an Enhanced Paveway II guided bomb against a truck bomb near Qayyarah and a Brimstone missile to destroy a light truck in the same area. Further south in the valley, near Sharqat, a Reaper destroyed another Daesh vehicle and then supported a coalition attack on an additional truck bomb. Meanwhile, Typhoons operated to the east of Mosul, where a Paveway IV was used against a Daesh held building.
Tuesday 27 September:
Two flights of Paveway IV-armed Typhoons continued operations in northern Iraq. They conducted successful strikes on a mortar team near Qayyarah, plus a second mortar and an artillery piece to the north of Mosul.
Wednesday 28 September:
A pair of Royal Air Force Typhoons operated to the north-east of Mosul, using 3 Paveway IV guided bombs against a cluster of Daesh held buildings. To the south of Mosul, in the Tigris valley, a Reaper patrolled the area around Qayyarah, where it used a Hellfire missile to destroy a vehicle-mounted mortar.
Thursday 29 September:
A Reaper conducted an armed reconnaissance mission over Tall Afar. It tracked down an armed truck which another coalition aircraft had encountered and although the vehicle was now concealed under trees, the Reaper scored a direct hit with a Hellfire. The next day, 2 Tornados employed a Paveway IV to destroy a rocket launcher north of Qayyarah.