RAF Strikes Daesh Targets in Iraq and Syria
The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
- Monday 13 March – Typhoons struck a supply route north-west of Mosul, and six strong-points within the city.
- Wednesday 15 March – Tornados attacked three heavily defended terrorist positions in western Mosul.
- Friday 17 March – Tornados supported Iraqi troops advancing inside western Mosul, destroying five Daesh targets.
- Saturday 18 March – Tornados destroyed a terrorist headquarters near Raqqa in Syria.
- Sunday 19 March – Typhoons and Tornados attacked eleven terrorist positions inside western Mosul.
- Monday 20 March – Typhoons and Tornados hit a further three targets in Mosul.
Royal Air Force Typhoons provided close air support to Iraqi troops engaged in intensive street fighting with Daesh extremists inside Mosul on Monday 13 March. The Typhoons, armed with Paveway IV guided bombs, first conducted an attack north-west of the city on a terrorist supply route. They then carried out strikes which destroyed six Daesh defensive positions in western Mosul. Each of these six targets required very demanding work from our aircrew, since the targets were at times obscured by cloud, and the Iraqi troops whom they were supporting were extremely close to the strong-points. Nevertheless, each of the six targets were destroyed by a direct hit, and the Iraqi forces confirmed that the threat each had posed had been eliminated.
On Wednesday 15 March, Iraqi troops in west Mosul reported encountering a former school compound and two neighbouring buildings now occupied by a large number of Daesh fighters, armed with light machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Two Tornados attacked after dark, having conducted careful checks for any sign of civilians in the area, and hit the Daesh positions in the former school’s courtyard and the nearby buildings with three Paveway IVs, which destroyed the terrorist firing points.
Tornado close support missions over Mosul continued on Friday 17 March. Our aircrew again faced very challenging conditions with heavy cloud and having to engage targets perilously close to the Iraqi troops whom they were assisting. Nevertheless, five terrorist positions, including a mortar team, were successfully destroyed by Paveway IVs.
Although the immediate primary operational focus remains on supporting the liberation of western Mosul, operations against Daesh in Syria have not been neglected, with RAF aircraft conducting intensive armed reconnaissance missions there. A Daesh headquarters was identified at a small building five miles east of Raqqa, and on Saturday 18 March, this was destroyed by a direct hit from a Paveway IV released by a Tornado flight.
Sunday 19 March proved a busy day for both the Tornado and Typhoon aircrews over Mosul. Yet again working very closely with the Iraqi troops, they repeatedly struck Daesh positions engaged in extremely close combat with the security forces. In total, eleven Daesh targets, including sniper, heavy machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade teams, were eliminated by Paveway IVs.
Action continued into Monday 20 March, when Tornados bombed a strong-point in the west of the city, and Typhoons struck two Daesh positions, including one from which heavy machine-gun fire was being directed at the Iraqis.
UK contribution to the fight against Daesh
Campaign against Daesh
Photo: RAF Tornado GR4 with Storm Shadow Missiles (Crown Copyright, OGL).