RAF Typhoon by SAC Graham Taylor (Crown Copyright, 2004)

RAF Plays its Part in Re-Taking Mosul

Operation Shader Brings Sucess in Northern Iraq

As victory in Western Mosul is declared by the Iraqi Security Forces, the Ministry of Defence has released details of the latest RAF missions flown in support of Coalition ground forces as part of Operation SHADER.

As fighting intensified to re-take the Old City of Mosul from Islamic State fighters, RAF Typhoons and Tornados gave close air support. The latest airstrike was conducted on July 5, with the MOD noting that careful co-ordination was required between air and ground forces due to the close proximity of ISF troops and Islamic State militants. Typhoons used Paveway IV missiles to destroy seven Islamic State positions, including two machine-gun posts. The day before, RAF Tornados had again engaged seven IS positions and destroyed six machin-gun teams with Paveway and Brimstone missiles.

In the following report, the MOD refers to the Islamic State as Daesh.

Operations: Latest RAF Missions Flown in Support of the ISF

Tornados and Typhoons flying from RAF Akrotiri were able to provide invaluable air support. Without this, Iraqi forces would have been unable to re-take Mosul.

Friday, 2 June: Two flights of mixed Typhoon/Tornado pairs operated over Mosul, where attacks were delivered in very close support to the Iraqi forces, hitting eight Daesh positions with a mix of Brimstones and Paveway IVs. The targets included three machine-gun teams and three groups of terrorists armed with rocket-propelled grenades. In addition, a truck-bomb, concealed close to one of the positions, was also fortuitously detonated by one of the attacks.

Saturday, 3 June: Two mixed pairs of Tornados and Typhoons delivered five attacks in Mosul with four Brimstones and a Paveway against a truck-bomb, three sniper teams and a group with rocket-propelled grenades.

Sunday, 4 June: A further mixed pair conducted three further attacks in Mosul, using a Brimstone to deal with a sniper, and two Paveway IVs against a pair of Daesh-held buildings from which fire was being directed at Iraqi troops.

Monday, 5 June: Tornados continued operations over Mosul, and employed a pair of Brimstone missiles to deliver pinpoint attacks on two firing positions located in a large multi-storey building, where the terrorists had stationed a recoilless anti-tank gun and a machine-gun.

Sunday, 11 June: A Tornado flight patrolled the Mosul area and conducted two attacks. During the first, a Paveway IV was used against a mortar position some 20 miles west of the city. A Brimstone was then used against a Daesh firing point in western Mosul, close to the riverbank.

Monday, 12 June: Royal Air Force Tornados patrolled over west Mosul. Despite Iraqi forces being exceptionally close to a target, a Tornado was able to use a single Paveway IV guided bomb to destroy a Daesh strong-point. Our aircraft then headed south to an area in the countryside near the small town of Karwi. A truck-bomb workshop had been identified in an isolated building, with three of its deadly products parked some distance away. The three truck-bombs were dealt with first. An attack with a pair of Brimstone missiles scored direct hits on two of the vehicles, and the secondary explosions from one of these then set off the third truck-bomb. A Paveway IV was then used to demolish the workshop.

Wednesday, 14 June: A mixed pair of a Tornado and a Typhoon provided further assistance to the Iraqi forces in west Mosul, striking two terrorist-held buildings with Paveway IVs. Before returning to base at RAF Akrotiri, the aircraft struck a third Daesh building, some 24 miles west of Kirkuk.

Thursday, 15 June: Two mixed pairs of Tornados and Typhoons operated over northern Iraq. A Daesh mortar was engaged east of Tal Afar, while six positions in Mosul, including machine-gun and sniper teams, were struck using a mixture of Paveway IVs and Brimstones.

Saturday, 17 June: Tornados and Typhoons struck six more positions in Mosul, again using a Brimstone and Paveway IV mix to deal with snipers and a machine-gun team.

Sunday, 18 June:  Tornados and Typhoons were very active over Mosul. A Brimstone was used to target a group of terrorists engaged in a close-quarters firefight with Iraqi troops, while Paveways accounted for nine more targets, including two machine-gun teams, multiple snipers, and extremists armed with rocket-propelled grenades.

Monday, 19 June: Flights of Royal Air Force Tornados and Typhoons operated over northern Iraq in support of the Iraqi security forces. RAF aircraft conducted attacks in Mosul with Paveway IV guided bombs against six Daesh positions which the Iraqi forces had encountered, including a group of snipers and four machine-gun teams. Thirty miles west of Kirkuk, a Daesh weapons stockpile was also destroyed by a Paveway IV.

Wednesday, 21 June: A Tornado flight used a Brimstone missile to destroy safely a car-bomb spotted by the Iraqi ground forces in Mosul. The Tornado flight then used a Paveway IV to eliminate a medium machine-gun team. A mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair were also active that day over the city. A Brimstone attack was directed at a mortar position, while Paveways were used against three Daesh strongpoints, including two housing machine-guns.

Thursday, 22 June: Tornados and Typhoons conducted attacks with Paveway IVs against six Daesh targets in western Mosul, with some strikes being called in by Iraqi forces positioned extremely close to the terrorist locations. Four machine-gun teams were amongst the threats successfully dealt with by our aircraft.

Friday, 23 June: A Tornado flight conducted three precision attacks with Brimstone missiles on Islamic State sniper positions in Mosul.

Sunday, 25 June: Operations against groups of Daesh extremists outside Mosul were maintained. No further details available.

Monday, 26 June: Two mixed pairs of Tornados and Typhoons, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, meanwhile provided close air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pushing into Raqqa and to the Iraqi troops clearing remaining Daesh positions in west Mosul. A Brimstone missile accounted for a sniper team in Raqqa, and a Paveway similarly dealt with snipers in Mosul.

Tuesday, 27 June: RAF aircraft conducted invaluable reconnaissance operations.

Thursday, 29 June: A Tornado pair supported Iraqi troops clearing remaining Daesh positions in the Old City in west Mosul. The aircraft used Paveway IVs to deliver two successful attacks on strongpoints, using great precision with their munitions, given the extreme proximity of the Iraqi troops to the Daesh firing points.

Saturday, 1 July: In northern Iraq, two Tornados assisted the Iraqi troops clearing remaining pockets of Daesh resistance in west Mosul. Paveway IVs were used to destroy two strongpoints from which the Daesh fighters were directing fire. The Tornados then responded to reports of a heavy machine-gun team and a group of suicide bombers preparing to attack the Iraqis – a third position was duly destroyed with a Paveway IV.

Sunday, 2 July: Mixed pairs of Tornados and Typhoons operated over Mosul where Iraqi ground forces had encountered three groups of snipers – all three positions, plus another Daesh-held building, were successfully struck with Paveways.

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