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British forces have conducted further air missions to assist the Iraqi government’s military operations against the ISIL terrorist organisation. RAF Tornado GR4s, working in close conjunction with RAF Reaper aircraft, flew over northern Iraq in support of Kurdish peshmerga who have made several advances against ISIL in recent days. The initial target for the Tornados was an ISIL fighting position, which was struck with Paveway IV guided bombs. The GR4s then joined the Reaper in a combined attack on a group of 9 ISIL vehicles; a mixture of armoured personnel carriers and armed pick-up trucks. The group was struck with a combination of Brimstone and Hellfire missiles, and Paveway IV bombs. During the afternoon of 26 November, another RAF Reaper operating elsewhere in the country was able to assist Iraqi soldiers who were under fire from an ISIL position on top of a building; the Reaper’s crew fired a single Hellfire missile. A British Army training team, as part of the international coalition’s wider efforts to assist Iraqi forces, continues to run a series of training courses in northern Iraq for Kurdish peshmerga and military personnel are scoping options for future advice and assistance packages for Iraqi security force headquarters. RAF transport aircraft also continue to make substantial deliveries of supplies to the area, including large consignments of military equipment donated by other partners in the coalition. A British Army training team, as part of the international coalition’s wider efforts to assist Iraqi forces, continues to run a series of training courses in northern Iraq for Kurdish peshmerga. Military personnel are scoping options for future advice and assistance packages for Iraqi security force headquarters. RAF transport aircraft also continue to make substantial deliveries of supplies to the area, including large consignments of military equipment donated by other partners in the coalition.
RAF aircraft help Iraqi ground forces counter ISIL activity in the vicinity of the Bayji oil refinery. The refinery, north of Baghdad, has been a focus of ISIL activity for several months. An RAF Tornado GR4 patrol flew in support of the Iraqi forces in the area, and was tasked to engage ISIL terrorists occupying 3 buildings within a compound. Each of these positions was struck with a Paveway IV precision guided bomb. RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft were also in action over Iraq, carrying out armed reconnaissance missions. November
RAF aircraft contributed to a major coalition air strike on an extensive ISIL complex of bunkers and tunnels. Aircraft from seven coalition nations conducted a comprehensive and closely coordinated attack on complex early on Wednesday. RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft, carrying Paveway IV precision guided bombs, formed the UK element. Separately, an RAF Reaper RPAS was tasked to investigate ISIL activity elsewhere in Iraq. The Reaper’s operators were able to locate a bulldozer which coalition forces confirmed was being used to prepare fighting positions to hold up Iraqi advances. A Hellfire missile was used to attack the bulldozer, which initial reports indicate was destroyed.
RAF Tornados and Reapers conducted further strikes against ISIL. On Thursday evening, Kurdish peshmerga reported coming under fire from a dug-in machine-gun position. An RAF Reaper RPAS succeeded in locating the ISIL position, and attacked it with a Hellfire missile. Before the end of its patrol, the Reaper crew used another Hellfire to engage an ISIL checkpoint set up to control a road. Elsewhere in Iraq, another Reaper, investigating reported ISIL activity in response to advancing Iraqi forces, identified terrorists boarding a truck. Despite the vehicle moving off at high speed, the Reaper crew were able to hit it with a Hellfire. And on Saturday night, Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over western and northern Iraq, supported by a Voyager refuelling tanker. In the western desert, they were tasked to strike an ISIL communications vehicle, which coalition forces had previously identified. A single Brimstone missile was used to conduct an attack.
Later in the patrol, the Tornados were called north to the Mosul area to support Kurdish peshmerga who were under fire from ISIL heavy weapons. Paveway precision guided bombs were used to hit a mortar and firing positions, as well as a bulldozer which the terrorists were using to construct defences against the peshmerga’s advance. In northern Iraq, a British army team continues to provide training to the peshmerga as part of a wider programme of training and assistance provided by the international community to both the Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces. RAF transport aircraft provide logistic support, having delivered numerous deliveries of humanitarian aid and military equipment from both the UK and on behalf of other Coalition partners.
Last night a RAF Reaper RPAS was involved in a coalition air strike in the Kirkuk region. The Reaper had been tasked to conduct reconnaissance in an area where Iraqi forces had encountered ISIL fighters. The operators were able to use the Reaper’s advanced systems to identify a number of ISIL positions, enabling another coalition aircraft to attack a command post, bunker, observation post and 2 armed pick-up trucks. They then identified a further 3 positions, and, having carefully checked the area, conducted attacks using the Reaper’s own Hellfire missiles. Initial analysis indicates that the attacks were successful. Other RAF aircraft also continue to fly missions over Iraq, including Tornado GR4s in the armed reconnaissance role, and surveillance, tanker and transport aircraft. A British Army team remains in Erbil, providing training assistance requested by the Kurdish peshmerga.
Saw the first air strike by a RAF Reaper RPAS. A series of coalition missions were conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad, where ISIL terrorists were laying improvised explosive devices. The Reaper, using procedures identical to those of manned aircraft, successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile. In addition, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s used a Brimstone missile to successfully destroy a shipping container used by the terrorists to store equipment near Al Anbar, west of Baghdad.
Saw further action from RAF aircraft as they continue to assist the Iraqi government in their fight against ISIL. Two Tornado GR4s, flying in support of Iraqi army units in the area surrounding Bayji north of Baghdad, used a Brimstone precision guided missile to successfully destroy an ISIL armed pick-up truck. Other RAF aircraft, including tankers, transport and surveillance platforms also continue to support coalition air operations.
Over the weekend, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s were tasked to investigate ISIL activity near the scene of an earlier successful coalition air strike at Al Qaim, north-west of Baghdad. The aircraft, as part of the international coalition supporting the Iraqi government, identified and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle using a single Brimstone missile. RAF Tornados were involved in further attacks this morning as a Brimstone missile was again used to attack a heavily armed ISIL pick up truck.