© Crown copyright 2018
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/british-forces-air-strikes-in-iraq-monthly-list/april-2016
Typhoons were active over western Iraq. A Daesh truck armed with an anti-aircraft gun was successfully bombed north-east of Ramadi and Paveways were used to destroy a fuel tanker converted into a truck bomb near Hit and a bunker west of Fallujah where terrorists had been spotted. In northern Iraq, a Tornado patrol employed Paveway IVs to destroy 3 Daesh buildings in the Mosul and Sinjar areas.
Coalition surveillance operations had identified Daesh extremists using a former Iraqi military ammunition depot near Qayyarah in northern Iraq. This intelligence indicated that the terrorists were manufacturing improvised explosive devices and other weaponry on the site. As part of a large coalition air strike on terrorist facilities in the area, 4 RAF Tornado GR4s were tasked with attacking 16 of these storage bunkers. Each aircraft dropped a salvo of 4 Paveways, and initial indications are that the strike was highly accurate and effective. An RAF Reaper was also active in the Qayyarah area, hunting a Daesh mortar team. The aircraft’s crew were able successfully to locate the team, operating a truck mounted mortar, concealed under trees on the western bank of the Tigris, and secured a direct hit with a Hellfire missile.
Typhoon FGR4s patrolled over Anbar province in western Iraq. East of Fallujah, the Typhoons struck 2 buildings occupied by Daesh fighters that had been identified by Iraqi ground forces with Paveway IV guided bombs. The aircraft then flew to the city of Hit, on the Euphrates river, where a coalition surveillance aircraft had spotted a large group of terrorists positioned in a line of trees on the edge of the town. These extremists were also struck using a Paveway IV.
Other RAF aircraft were active over northern Iraq; Tornado GR4s assisted Kurdish peshmerga engaged in a firefight north-west of Mosul, hitting their Daesh opponents with a Paveway, whilst Typhoons conducted a successful bombing attack on extremists mustering near Qayyarah.
A Typhoon flight operated over northern Iraq, using Paveways to attack 3 Daesh-held buildings north-east of Mosul, including a weapons store. They then used a further 3 Paveways to destroy 3 Daesh positions some miles south of Kirkuk, including a headquarters building and a base used by a mortar team.
A Typhoon flight tasked to provide close air support to the Iraqi security forces attacking Daesh strongholds in Hit. The Typhoons used Paveways to strike a total of seven targets identified by the aircraft themselves, the Iraqi forces and supporting surveillance aircraft. A rocket propelled grenade team firing from a building were silenced in a precise strike which avoided causing damage to a nearby mosque. They also destroyed 2 heavy machine guns; a third heavy machine gun on the northern bank of the river; and a series of simultaneous attacks eliminated a fourth machine gun position and 2 more groups of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) armed terrorists. In northern Iraq, Tornado GR4s bombed a network of trenches near Qayyarah.
The Tornados were in action again over northern Iraq, where they used a Paveway to destroy a truck bomb positioned ahead of Kurdish troops south of Kirkuk. They then destroyed a machine gun position on the Little Zab River using a Brimstone missile. Near Qayyarah, a Typhoon flight supported Kurdish troops who had come under fire from a number of Daesh positions. Two terrorist held buildings were destroyed, and a group of extremists caught manoeuvring in the open were also struck with a Paveway.
RAF Typhoon FGR4s patrolled the area around Hit. Coalition surveillance aircraft located a concealed improvised artillery piece, known as a “hell cannon”, which had opened fire on the Iraqi troops and was hidden under trees. Working closely with surveillance aircraft, the Typhoon flight was able to score a direct hit using a Paveway IV guided bomb.
A RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft was tasked to hunt for a Daesh mortar team operating in the Hit area. Intensive surveillance allowed the Reaper’s crew to identify and track motorcycle mounted terrorists who stopped to set up a mortar. They were struck by a Hellfire missile from the Reaper.
Two flights of Tornado GR4s operated over northern Iraq to support Kurdish ground forces. One flight working east of Mosul demolished a Daesh held building, suspected to be a local headquarters, using Paveway bombs. The Tornados then hit a building being used to stockpile rockets with another Paveway and used a Brimstone missile to account for a set of rocket launch rails nearby. The second Tornado flight provided support to Kurdish troops near Qayyarah who were coming under fire from a sniper team, they were successfully silenced by a further Paveway.
An RAF Typhoon mission destroyed a terrorist machine gun team east of Mosul, then struck 3 Daesh positions east of Qayyarah.
A pair of Tornados bombed through thick cloud to hit 2 terrorist positions, including a rocket launching team, north of Mosul, and a Daesh mortar team near Qayyarah. In western Iraq, Typhoons supported the Iraqi counter terrorist forces pushing into Hit, and used Paveways to strike 2 buildings held by Daesh rocket propelled grenade and machine gun teams.
RAF Typhoon FGR4s assisted in the destruction of one of the remaining terrorist strong points on the eastern outskirts of the town, striking, despite the very close proximity of the Iraqi forces, a Daesh machine gun position with a Paveway IV guided bomb. When the Iraqi troops liberated the town’s hospital, they found that it had been converted into a terrorist bomb making factory, with a number of vehicles there, including an ambulance, converted into truck bombs; fortunately, the speed of the Iraqi victory prevented these deadly booby traps from being deployed. In northern Iraq, other Typhoons bombed terrorist rocket and mortar teams located some miles south-west of Sinjar, and in the Kisik area, which had opened fire on advancing Kurdish troops. West of Mosul, Tornado GR4s tracked an articulated lorry carrying a prepared car bomb on its trailer; despite the lorry’s speed, a direct hit was scored on the car bomb using a Brimstone missile.
The Tornados then used Paveways to destroy 2 clusters of barges being used by the terrorists to move men and supplies across the Tigris.
Tornados patrolling over northern Iraq provided close air support to Kurdish forces in the areas south of Sinjar and Kisik. Successful Paveway attacks accounted for a Daesh mortar team and destroyed the entrance to a tunnel system where a number of terrorists were reported to be hiding. Near Qayyarah, Typhoons destroyed a Daesh held building, again using a Paveway IV. In western Iraq, as the last Daesh fighters pulled out of Hit, a Tornado flight employed 2 Brimstone missiles to sink boats used by them to cross the Euphrates.
A Tornado armed reconnaissance patrol over northern Syria bombed a Daesh large calibre mortar position near Manbij. In northern Iraq, a Typhoon flight used a total of eight Paveways in a succession of successful strikes around Kisik, Mosul and south of Kirkuk, destroying a terrorist mortar team, 4 vehicles, and 3 Daesh-held buildings.
A Typhoon mission used Paveways to attack 2 mortar positions which had opened fire on Kurdish troops near Kisik, while a pair of Tornados conducted simultaneous attacks on 3 Daesh targets north-east of Mosul, hitting a bomb making factory and 2 other terrorist held buildings. In western Iraq, Typhoons dropped 4 Paveways to destroy 10 rocket launchers and a stockpile of ammunition positioned on the bank of the Euphrates.
In northern Iraq, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s spotted a tractor pulling a large towed mortar near Barimah. A hit from a Brimstone missile brought the tractor to a halt, and a Paveway IV guided bomb then destroyed the mortar. Near Mosul, a pair of Typhoons accounted for 2 more mortars, hitting them with Paveways which also destroyed their stockpiled ammunition. In western Iraq, another Tornado mission assisted Iraqi forces, who had liberated the town of Hit the previous week, as they cleared terrorist positions across the Euphrates on the northern bank. The Tornados destroyed 2 machine gun positions using Paveway IVs.
Typhoons, supported by an RAF Voyager refuelling tanker, provided close air support to Iraqi troops operating north and east of Fallujah. Two successful Paveway attacks hit a machine gun team in a trench and a mortar in a covered firing position. In northern Iraq, Tornados used Paveway IVs again to attack 2 Daesh held buildings near Qayyarah.
A Tornado mission saw the first use of the RAF’s Enhanced Paveway III (EPWIII) against Daesh, a guided bomb with a 2,000 lb deep penetration warhead. Our aircraft normally carry the smaller Paveway IV guided bombs and Brimstone missiles, which can be carried in larger numbers and are more useful for close air support missions. The EPW III has been held in reserve for use if needed against particularly challenging underground or hardened targets. The Tornados flew as part of a coalition air strike on a large complex of tunnels and bunkers dug into terraced hillsides above the Euphrates in western Iraq, successfully scoring direct hits with a pair of EPW IIIs on 2 entrances to the bunker network.
Two RAF Reapers operating over Syria conducted strikes. Near Abu Kamal, one Reaper provided surveillance support to a successful coalition attack on an improvised weapons factory, then used 2 of its own Hellfire missiles to demolish a nearby workshop used for constructing car bombs. The second Reaper tracked a terrorist vehicle near Tabuqah, south-west of Raqqa, and destroyed it with a Hellfire.
In western Iraq, Typhoons continued to support Iraqi ground forces north of Fallujah, where they conducted four Paveway attacks against snipers, a bunker and an entrenched fighting position. Tornados patrolled south-west of Kirkuk, where 2 Paveways destroyed a bridge built by Daesh across a canal, and a communications post nearby.
Typhoons were again in action near Fallujah; one pair silenced a sniper position that was firing on Iraqi troops, while a second pair dropped 3 Paveways on a Daesh compound.