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Friday 1 December
A Reaper worked very closely with 2 flights of coalition aircraft, some 15 miles north-west of Abu Kamal. The Reaper supported 7 attacks by the coalition jets against several groups of terrorists, an armed truck and a Daesh-held building, and conducted 3 attacks with its own Hellfire missiles, which killed a number of extremists spotted both in defensive positions and in the open.
Sunday 3 December
Another Reaper provided similar assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces. Our aircraft provided surveillance support to a successful coalition air attack, then used a Hellfire missile to eliminate a group of terrorists who had taken up position in a building to the north-east of Abu Hammam.
Saturday 9 December
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Iraqi forces had successfully restored control over the entire border with Syria. Coalition aircraft continue to be on hand to support the Iraqi security forces against any isolated pockets of Daesh extremists that might be found, and 2 RAF Tornado GR4s carried out such a mission on Saturday night. A coalition surveillance aircraft had identified a dispersed group of terrorists in a remote area of countryside some 40 miles north-west of Tikrit, and the Tornados were tasked with their destruction. 2 Paveway IV guided bombs were used, along with a Brimstone missile which destroyed the terrorists’ nearby truck.
Sunday 10 December
A Reaper provided further support to the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria. Our aircraft tracked various groups of terrorists which allowed them to be struck by a series of attacks by coalition fast jets, and conducted one attack using its own Hellfire weaponry.
Tuesday 12 December
A Reaper identified a small group of Daesh extremists firing on the SDF. The Reaper’s crew kept very close watch on a number of civilians, including women and children, who were evacuating the village, and waited until they were clear of the area before conducting a successful attack on the terrorists with a Hellfire missile.
Friday 15 December
Another Reaper flew a similar mission in the area. It spotted several terrorists occupying a compound and hit them with a Hellfire missile. A second group of terrorists then attempted to take up firing positions in the same compound, and were also struck with a Hellfire. Later in the day, the Reaper’s crew tracked a group of men acting suspiciously around a area of trees, and close observation identified a truck, carrying a mortar, camouflaged under the trees. The Reaper was able to pinpoint the position for coalition jets which delivered an accurate attack which destroyed the vehicle and mortar.
Sunday 17 December
A pair of Typhoon FGR4s also provided support to the SDF in the Euphrates valley, near Abu Hardub. A coalition surveillance aircraft observed a number of extremists taking up position in a building, and the Typhoons subsequently destroyed the target with a single Paveway IV guided bomb.
Saturday 23 December
A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft worked closely with coalition jets near Abu Hammam. The Reaper’s crew provided surveillance support to a coalition air strike on a Daesh occupied building, then tracked a small group of terrorists as they attempted to seek shelter in an outbuilding nearby. Having checked the area carefully for any signs of civilians who might be placed at risk, the Reaper’s crew then conducted a successful attack with a Hellfire missile, which destroyed the outbuilding and its occupants.
Thursday 28 December
Tornado GR4s, flying from RAF Akrotiri and, as ever, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, flew an armed reconnaissance mission over the Euphrates. Their attention was directed to a Daesh defensive position, consisting of 2 buildings surrounded by earthworks, at a remote spot north-east of Abu Kamal, close to the border with Iraq. Our aircraft demolished both of the buildings with a pair of Paveway IVs.
Friday 29 December
2 flights of Tornados flew close air support for the Syrian Democratic Forces the following day, despite difficult weather conditions; one flight employed a Paveway IV to destroy a building from which fire was being directed at close range against the SDF, whilst the second pair of Tornados engaged through cloud a group of terrorists engaged in street fighting; a Paveway removed the threat to the SDF.