Notwithstanding the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Air Force aircraft have been able to continue regular armed reconnaissance missions to support the enduring work of the Iraqi security forces to prevent any resurgence of the Daesh terrorist movement within their country.
On Sunday 24 January, a coalition surveillance aircraft located a number of Daesh fighters based in two caves some ten miles north of Bayji, and two Typhoon FGR4s were tasked to strike them. Our aircraft conducted a careful check of the area around the caves, which were a mile and a half apart, for any signs of civilians who might be at risk, before conducting simultaneous attacks, using two Paveway IV guided bombs against each group. All four of the bombs struck their targets accurately and the strike was assessed to have been a success in eliminating the terrorist threat.
UK Armed Forces continue to provide a significant contribution to the global coalition ensuring the Daesh terrorist group does not become resurgent in Syria and Iraq, with Royal Air Force aircraft flying daily armed reconnaissance patrols. On Tuesday 6 October, a small group of Daesh extremists attacked Iraqi security forces in the desert of Anbar province, west of Baghdad. A coalition air strike provided immediate support to the Iraqi troops, and succeeded in destroying half the attacking Daesh group. An RAF Reaper was then tasked to deal with the remaining terrorists. The crew of the Reaper successfully located them, and at an appropriate moment, with no sign of a strike posing any risks to friendly forces or any civilians, conducted a carefully planned attack with a GBU-12 guided bomb. The Iraqi forces subsequently reported that the threat had been eliminated.