British Government issues statement on air raids in Iraq


The Government has issued a statement on air raids on ISIS targets in Iraq which have taken place in recent days.

The statement, issued today, is:

“ISIL terrorists in Iraq have suffered further losses from precision air strikes conducted by the Royal Air Force.

RAF aircraft flying as part of the coalition campaign against ISIL have maintained intensive armed reconnaissance missions, striking a number of terrorist targets in the last few days. On Tuesday 17 November, Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri provided close air support to Iraqi ground forces closing in on Ramadi. Our aircraft conducted three successful attacks with Paveway IV guided bombs, destroying an improvised artillery piece – a so-called “Hell Cannon” – and two heavy machine-gun positions. Support was also given to the Kurdish forces as they exploited their recent victory at Sinjar, and on Thursday, Tornados used a Paveway to destroy a Da’ish sniper position which had opened fire on Kurdish troops, then scored a direct hit with a Brimstone missile on a terrorist vehicle near Sinjar. The same day saw a Reaper flying overwatch for Iraqi troops further south, and it successfully struck a group of terrorists with a Hellfire missile.

Reapers conducted three strikes on Friday 20 November: two Hellfires destroyed an armed pick-up truck and a terrorist check-point, whilst a GBU-12 guided bomb eliminated a large group of terrorists gathered at a weapons cache. Two more ISIL check-points were struck by a Reaper over northern Iraq on Saturday, while on Sunday 22 November, Tornado GR4s attacked a Da’ish vehicle armed with an anti-aircraft gun and a stockpile of home-made explosives, destroying both with Paveways.

Vital support is provided to the strike missions by RAF Voyager air tankers, Sentinel and Air Seeker surveillance aircraft. On the ground, British military instructors continue to provide training to Iraqi and Kurdish troops as part of the large coalition programme to help train and equip the Iraqi security forces”.