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Reapers were in action again, 1 patrolled the skies above Qayyarah, where a camouflaged set of loaded rocket launch rails were spotted and destroyed with a Hellfire missile. A second Reaper patrolled over eastern Syria and western Iraq, and located a terrorist check point on the Iraqi side of the border, west of Al Qa’im, which was stopping the free movement of traffic. Again, a Hellfire missile was employed and the check point successfully attacked.
Two Tornado missions provided reconnaissance and close air support to Iraqi forces around Fallujah. One pair of Tornados used Paveway IVs to conduct simultaneous attacks on 2 Daesh held buildings close to a canal to the south of the city; 1 building housed a terrorist sniper team, the other a recoilless anti-tank artillery piece. Both targets were destroyed by direct hits. The second Tornado flight successfully silenced a heavy machine gun positioned in a third Daesh strongpoint after it opened fire on the advancing Iraqi troops.
Three successive flights of Tornado GR4s and Typhoon FGR4s provided close air support to Iraqi units on the southern outskirts of the city. One Tornado flight conducted 4 attacks with Paveway IV guided bombs, striking a bunker and 3 teams of terrorists armed with an anti-tank gun, rocket propelled grenades and a heavy machine gun. A second Tornado mission delivered simultaneous attacks on 2 Daesh held buildings, then a third bombing attack on a heavy machine gun position that had opened fire on Iraqi troops. The Typhoon flight dealt with a further artillery piece, using a Paveway IV.
In northern Iraq, another pair of Typhoons struck a group of terrorists spotted advancing towards peshmerga positions near Kisik, then headed to an area south east of Mosul where they used 3 Paveways to attack more extremists mustering in and around a large warehouse.
Operations over southern Fallujah continued when a pair of Typhoons conducted Paveway attacks on 2 Daesh strongpoints which had opened fire on Iraqi forces with machine guns and other weapons. Two Reaper remotely piloted aircraft patrolled over the city the following day, exploiting their long endurance and excellent surveillance capabilities to provide persistent overwatch for the Iraqi troops on the ground.
During the course of Saturday, the Reapers delivered 5 attacks, using 2 GBU-12 guided bombs and 3 Hellfire missiles, against 2 machine gun teams, 2 Daesh firing positions and a tunnel network. They also provided assistance to 5 other air strikes conducted by coalition fast jets on terrorist positions.
Tornados were again in action over southern Fallujah. A factory producing improvised truck bombs was struck with a pair of Paveway IVs, destroying 2 vehicles that were being prepared for use, and 2 further attacks with Paveways accounted for 2 anti-tank weapons.
Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s continued to provide close air support to the Iraqi operation to liberate Fallujah. A coalition surveillance aircraft spotted a group of Daesh terrorists taking up position in a building to the west of the city, allowing them to be quickly targeted by the Typhoons using a Paveway IV guided bomb. In northern Iraq, intelligence had located a large truck bomb factory near Mosul and 2 RAF Tornado GR4s armed with 1000lb Enhanced Paveway II guided bombs were tasked with its destruction. A single EPW II destroyed the factory.
Operations around Fallujah continued when Tornados successfully attacked a weapons and ammunition stockpile hidden to the south east of the city.
Tornados conducted 3 attacks to support Iraqi ground forces engaged in firefights with terrorists inside Fallujah. Despite the close proximity of the Iraqi forces, the GR4s were able to deliver simultaneous attacks with Paveway IVs against 2 strongpoints housing Daesh machine gun and artillery teams. They then struck a further machine gun position when it also opened fire on the Iraqis.
Typhoons also contributed to the Fallujah operations, using Paveway IVs against 2 groups of Daesh extremists armed with a light machine gun and rocket propelled grenades. In northern Iraq, another Typhoon mission successfully attacked a Daesh held building east of Mosul, whilst a Reaper used a GBU-12 bomb to demolish a building where another coalition surveillance aircraft had observed terrorists unloading supplies. A second Reaper patrolled over Syria and employed a Hellfire missile to destroy a Daesh truck travelling at speed on the open road south of Raqqa.
Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s continued to provide close air support to Iraqi ground forces fighting to liberate Fallujah. One Tornado flight conducted successful attacks using Paveway IV guided bombs against 4 Daesh held buildings from which terrorists were directing machine gun fire at the Iraqi forces. A second Tornado mission used a Paveway IV to destroy a building west of the city, within which a terrorist armed vehicle was reported by nearby Iraqi troops to be concealed.
A Reaper worked in close conjunction with other coalition aircraft to engage Daesh rocket and mortar teams operating near Qayyarah. The Reaper provided support to 2 coalition strikes on rocket positions, then used its own Hellfire missiles and a GBU-12 guided bomb against a further set of rocket launchers and a mortar. A Typhoon FGR4 flight was also operating near Qayyarah, and they conducted attacks against 5 targets: 3 buildings where Daesh extremists had been spotted gathering and 2 more rocket launcher positions. North east of Mosul, another pair of Typhoons destroyed a heavy machine gun team with a Paveway IV. To the south, Tornados again provided close air support over Fallujah, using their Paveways against 3 strongpoints which housed 2 machine gun teams and a group of terrorists armed with rocket propelled grenades.
An RAF Reaper continued to hunt terrorist rocket and mortar teams around Qayyarah, conducting 3 attacks with Hellfire missiles.
Another Reaper patrolled over Qayyarah, and also fired 3 Hellfires, its targets were 2 terrorist vehicles and a group of Daesh fighters. Typhoons were also active nearby, and used Paveway IVs to attack 2 groups of terrorists caught in the open and 2 Daesh held buildings. A Typhoon mission also joined Tornados operating over Fallujah; the Typhoons used 1 Paveway IV against a machine gun position, whilst the Tornados delivered 5 very precise attacks in very demanding circumstances, with Iraqi troops extremely close to the terrorist targets. Paveway IVs were used to destroy a rocket team, an anti-tank gun, a heavily armed pick-up truck and a heavy machine gun team, whilst a Brimstone missile silenced a light machine gun.
During Sunday night, a pair of Tornados armed with 1000lb Enhanced Paveway II guided bombs conducted a carefully planned strike on a factory to the south-west of Qayyarah where truck-bombs were being built by Daesh. Four EPW IIs hit their targets accurately and initial reports suggest the mission was a success.
A pair of Typhoons assisted Iraqi troops as they engaged in very close combat inside Fallujah. Our aircraft delivered 4 precision attacks, all with Paveway IV guided bombs, that destroyed 5 strongpoints defended by Daesh terrorists armed with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and an anti-tank gun.
The Typhoons continued operations over Fallujah, and again worked very closely with the Iraqi units hitting 5 terrorist positions including sniper and machine gun teams. In northern Iraq, around Qayyarah, a second Typhoon flight and a Reaper supported Iraqi and Kurdish units. The Typhoons attacked a Daesh held building with a Paveway IV, while the Reaper conducted 4 attacks: a GBU-12 guided bomb was used against a group of terrorists gathered at a weapons stockpile, and 3 mortars were attacked in turn with Hellfire missiles. The Reaper also tracked the arrival of a truck bomb and observed it being concealed inside a garage, this surveillance enabled a successful attack to then be delivered by a coalition aircraft which destroyed the vehicle.
Two Typhoon flights saw action over Fallujah on Wednesday, and between them they conducted 7 successful attacks with Paveway IVs. Again all were in very close support of Iraqi ground forces, accounting for terrorist teams armed with heavy weapons, rocket propelled grenades, and a 23mm anti-aircraft gun.
With Iraqi forces making steady progress pushing into Fallujah, 2 flights of Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s contributed to the coalition’s air support. Our aircraft successfully attacked 4 Daesh machine gun positions that were identified by the Iraqi ground forces, using Paveway IV guided bombs.
An RAF Reaper patrolling over northern Iraq, north of Bayji. The Reaper’s crew identified a large mortar and a Daesh truck, both were destroyed by Hellfire missiles.
A second Reaper operated in the same area, supporting an offensive by Iraqi forces. It used 4 Hellfires and a GBU-12 guided bomb to successfully engage 3 armed pick-up trucks which were firing at the Iraqi troops, a fourth vehicle and a trench position. In north west Iraq, in Harunah, 2 pairs of Tornado GR4s, armed with 8 1000lb Enhanced Paveway IIs conducted a pre-planned strike on a complex of buildings which had been identified by intelligence as a headquarters, accommodation and weapons facility for Daesh foreign fighters. All 4 target buildings were destroyed. Another Reaper patrolled over Syria and attacked a Daesh vehicle south west of Manbij, destroying it with a Hellfire missile.
Typhoons were in action over Fallujah, providing close air support to Iraqi troops who had penetrated to the city centre. Six terrorist strongpoints housing machine gun, artillery and rocket propelled grenade teams were struck in a series of precision Paveway attacks. In northern Iraq, a Reaper used a pair of Hellfires to engage 2 groups of Daesh extremists north of Bayji, while Tornados used a Brimstone missile against a third group in the same area, and a Paveway IV against a rocket launcher north of Mosul.
An armed reconnaissance patrol by Tornados over eastern Syria used a Brimstone missile to attack a truck bomb hidden under a tarpaulin between 2 ruined buildings north of Dayr az Zawr. The Brimstone scored a direct hit; a massive explosion followed, which confirmed how heavily the vehicle had been laden with explosives. Further west, near Raqqah, a Reaper conducted 3 attacks with Hellfire missiles against a Daesh vehicle and extremists on foot. Typhoons and Tornados were again active over Fallujah, and used Paveway IV bombs to destroy 4 Daesh machine gun posts engaged in very close combat with the Iraqi security forces. Since the start of the operation to liberate Fallujah, RAF aircraft have prosecuted some 96 targets in and around the city and neighbouring areas in the Euphrates valley.
Reaper patrols north of Bayji continued, and 5 attacks were conducted in support of Iraqi offensive operations. Hellfires accounted for 2 supply vehicles and a truck armed with an anti-aircraft gun, as well as an observation post dug in on a ridgeline. A GBU-12 guided bomb destroyed a Daesh mortar team, spotted as they fired at an Iraqi position. A Typhoon flight operated further north, north west of Mosul, where they used a Paveway IV to hit a rocket launcher site.
Typhoon FGR4s, based at RAF Akrotiri and supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, flew close air support missions over Fallujah. They successfully attacked 3 Daesh strongpoints with Paveway IV guided bombs, the targets had been identified by Iraqi ground forces as being manned by machine gun and rocket propelled grenade teams.
North of Bayji, Tornado GR4s and a Reaper supported an Iraqi offensive operation. The Tornados employed 1 Paveway IV and 3 Brimstone missiles to destroy 4 Daesh fighting positions along a defensive embankment, whilst the Reaper used a single GBU-12 guided bomb to destroy 2 more positions.
A second Reaper continued support in the area into Thursday and used a Hellfire missile to eliminate a terrorist spotted with a man portable surface-to-air missile. Typhoons continued their support over Fallujah as well, conducting a Paveway IV attack on a machine gun team. Another Typhoon flight operated over northern Syria, close to the Turkish border and destroyed 2 Daesh held buildings several miles east of Azaz.
A Reaper supported an Iraqi offensive near Sharqat, west of Kirkuk. Its crew used a Hellfire missile to destroy an engineering vehicle which was being used to create defences ahead of the Iraqi advance. Tornados patrolled further north and employed a Paveway IV against a mortar position north west of Mosul.
Typhoons conducted further operations over Fallujah and were called in by the Iraqi army to destroy 2 machine gun positions on the northern outskirts of the city. A total of 101 targets have been successfully prosecuted by the RAF in Fallujah and neighbouring areas since the start of the Iraqi operation to liberate the city.
A Reaper again on patrol near Sharqat, and this aircraft delivered 3 successful attacks with Hellfire missiles against a truck, a group of terrorists, and a van which Daesh had been seen loading with weapons and ammunition.
Intelligence had determined that Daesh were using a large concrete bunker in western Iraq as a weapons facility. Due to the massive construction, built during the Saddam era, it was decided to use 4 Stormshadow missiles against it, as the weapon has particularly good capabilities against such a challenging target. The missiles were launched by 2 Tornados, all 4 Stormshadows scored direct hits and penetrated deep within the bunker. Also in western Iraq, south east of Hit, a Typhoon flight used a single Paveway IV to destroy a much smaller bunker built by Daesh south east of Hit. In northern Iraq, a Reaper provided close air support near Sharqat for the third successive day, using its Hellfires to attack a vehicle, a group of terrorists on foot, and a team planting improvised explosive devices.
While Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s conducted reconnaissance missions to gather intelligence on Daesh activity, Typhoon FGR4s and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft provided support to both Syrian democratic forces and Iraqi units. The same day, in Syria, a pair of Typhoons conducted a successful attack with Paveway IV guided bombs against a Daesh strongpoint on the south western outskirts of Manbij.
Typhoons executed a similar attack against a mortar position close to Manbij. Over Iraq, a Reaper supported Iraqi ground forces near Sharqat in the north of the country. The Reaper used Hellfire missiles against 2 groups of extremists caught in the open, including a machine gun team engaged in combat with the Iraqi troops.
Typhoons and Reapers conducted a number of attacks against Daesh terrorists fleeing in the face of Iraqi operations in Fallujah. A Typhoon struck 2 vehicles and a large group of extremists with Paveway IV bombs west of Fallujah and 2 Reapers destroyed a further 4 vehicles and a group of fighters, using Hellfire missiles and a GBU-12 guided bomb. One Reaper observed the Daesh vehicles refusing to stop and pick up fellow armed extremists trying to escape on foot. Another Reaper was active near Sharqat, where it destroyed 2 vehicles with Hellfire missiles and attacked a group of terrorists with a GBU-12 bomb.
With Daesh forces continuing to flee in defeat from their former stronghold of Fallujah, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s patrolled over the desert of Anbar province and located a group of terrorist vehicles a number of miles to the south west of Ramadi. Attacks with 4 Brimstone missiles and a Paveway IV guided bomb successfully accounted for 5 trucks. In northern Iraq, a pair of Typhoons used Paveway IVs to bomb 2 Daesh mortar teams some 25 miles south east of Mosul, while a Reaper conducted attacks with Hellfire missiles against terrorists fighting Iraqi forces near Qayyarah.