The Ministry of Defence has issued an update on the fight against Daesh and the air strikes which the UK is conducting in partnership with other nations. They confirmed that progress is being made and that Daesh are being driven back in both Iraq and Syria.
The department said in a statement:
“With Daesh having suffered major defeats in both Iraq and Syria, Royal Air Force missions continue daily, focused on armed reconnaissance to identify remaining terrorist locations and support, as necessary, clearance operations on the ground by Iraqi troops and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The SDF have continued their operations against extremists south-east of Al Mayadin, in eastern Syria, and an RAF Reaper provided close air support to them on Thursday 16 November. The first terrorist threat that the Reaper’s crew identified was a vehicle being driven at very high speed towards the SDF positions. Fearing this to be a probable truck-bomb, the Reaper’s crew tracked the lorry, ready to engage. However, no intervention was necessary, as the driver lost control of the vehicle, which crashed off the road and promptly exploded; it had indeed been a truck-bomb. The Reaper subsequently spotted a group of terrorists opening fire on the SDF; a GBU-12 guided bomb quickly eliminated this threat.
On Saturday 18 November, Tornados from RAF Akrotiri patrolled over north-west Iraq. Another coalition aircraft identified a Daesh truck, loaded with equipment, concealed under cover some 35 miles west of Sharaq. The Tornados were requested to conduct an attack with the very precise Brimstone missile, and did so successfully, destroying the vehicle.
Intelligence identified a complex of buildings in northern Iraq, some 30 miles west of Sharqat, as a truck-bomb factory. Two Typhoons bombed the target site with six Paveway IV guided bombs on Wednesday 22 November; two weapons demolished a large workshop, while single bombs dealt with the four other, smaller buildings”.