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A Reaper destroyed heavy equipment used by ISIL to maintain a supply route across a bridge over the Euphrates.2 Tornados later assisted peshmerga operations near Sinjar, using Paveway bombs to destroy two buildings from which a terrorist heavy machine-gun position and vehicle-mounted mortar team were operating.
Reapers tracked a terrorist team stockpiling explosives in the desert, successfully engaging the terrorists and destroying the explosives. Tornados from RAF Akrotiri flew in support of Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq, using a Brimstone missile to destroy a concealed armed truck. The peshmerga later came under fire from two ISIL heavy machine-guns; the Tornados attacked with a pair of Paveway IV guided bombs, hitting both targets.
A Reaper in the same area destroy an ISIL armoured vehicle which was in close combat with Iraqi forces with a Hellfire and then provided surveillance support to four successful strikes by coalition aircraft on ISIL buildings and a bulldozer which had been packed with explosives for an attack on the Iraqi troops.
In the west of the country, Reapers continued to provide overwatch to the Iraqi forces in Anbar province. On Friday 22 May, a Reaper successfully engaged terrorists burying improvised explosive devices next to a road. The aircraft then supported a strike mounted by coalition fast jets on an ISIL-held building.
Tornados struck a weapons store with Paveways and operations in northern Iraq continued the next day with the Tornados destroying an ISIL heavy weapons position in a building. They then attacked a further weapons cache in a tunnel and in the course of this strike, a camouflaged position nearby was spotted by the aircrew, confirmed as hostile, and was also bombed.
A Reaper and 2 Tornado GR4s patrolled northern Iraq, where the peshmerga were conducting offensive operations against ISIL terrorists. The Reaper attacked a bunker with a Hellfire missile, then helped direct three attacks by the Tornado GR4s against an artillery position and two other bunkers. The Tornados then destroyed a heavy machine-gun position in a building with a Paveway attack. The Reaper conducted a further attack, destroying a heavily armed vehicle moving at high speed. Another RAF Reaper used a Hellfire to destroy a mortar which was firing on Iraqi troops in Anbar province.
A Reaper assisted 2 coalition air strikes on terrorist positions, including a heavy machine-gun team, then conducted a third strike itself with a Hellfire.
GR4s again supported Iraqi army operations in the Bayji area, and safely destroyed with a Brimstone missile a car bomb which the terrorists had positioned ahead of the advancing Iraqi troops. A Reaper continued to support the Iraqi forces in Anbar province, including providing surveillance assistance to a successful coalition air strike in Ramadi.
When ISIL launched their attack on Friday on government buildings in Ramadi, an RAF Reaper was among the coalition aircraft that came to the assistance of the Iraqi security forces, and it was able to destroy a terrorist position with a Hellfire missile. At the same time, Tornado GR4s, based at RAF Akrotiri and supported by a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker, used a Paveway precision guided bomb to demolish an ISIL held building near Bayji.
Tornado GR4s on a reconnaissance mission were tasked to attack a building near Bayjii where coalition surveillance had confirmed terrorists were assembling; a Paveway IV guided bomb scored a direct hit on the target.
Reapers conducted further successful strikes, successfully attacking a large vehicle. Another Reaper was operating over northern Iraq the same day, and used Hellfires to strike ISIL fighters and an engineering vehicle.
Tornado GR4s supported Kurdish forces north of Mosul, with our aircraft destroying another terrorist heavy machine-gun position, which had opened fire on the peshmerga.
GR4s provided support to the Kurdish peshmerga near Mosul, and conducted air strikes with Paveways on ISIL sniper and heavy machine-gun positions. An RAF Reaper flew overwatch for advancing Iraqi troops in Anbar province. The Reaper’s crew used the aircraft’s advanced surveillance systems to identify a heavy machine-gun position, which was successfully attacked with a Hellfire missile. Two further ISIL positions were also struck shortly afterwards.
Tornado GR4s also assisted Iraqi troops on the evening of Monday; whilst trying to evacuate wounded comrades, the soldiers came under heavy fire from terrorists positioned in 2 buildings. Despite the proximity of the friendly forces, careful planning and the accuracy of the Paveway system allowed the GR4s to destroy both terrorist positions and remove the threat to the troops on the ground.
Two GR4s provided direct support to Iraqi troops near Bayji and conducted a successful attack with a Paveway precision guided bomb on a concealed ISIL position. Shortly afterwards, a Reaper flying overwatch for an Iraqi unit in Anbar province was able to identify two engineering vehicles which ISIL were using to construct defensive positions, both vehicles were destroyed with Hellfire missiles.