Released: RAF in the Battle for Baghuz
MOD Releases Details of RAF’s Role in Final Battle Against the ISIS Caliphate in Syria
As Syrian Democratic Forces closed in on the last remnant of the Islamic State Calpiphate in Baghuz, Royal Air Force Typhoons and a Reaper drone provided essential air support. Details released today by the Ministry of Defence document RAF activity over three days in the lead up to victory over ISIS (aka ISIL, Islamic State, Daesh) at Baghuz in Syria.
RAF aircraft, alongside other coalition partners, continued to provide close air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces as they attacked the last remaining Islamic State stronghold in eastern Syria, at Al-Baghuz Fawqani. Typhoon, Reaper and Sentinel aircraft flew daily reconnaissance missions, with the Typhoons and Reapers ready to engage targets if requested by the SDF.
Paving the Way to Baghuz
On Tuesday, 12 March, the SDF came into contact with Islamic State fighters in dispersed positions, and two Typhoon FGR4s conducted a series of three attacks, using a total of four Paveway IV guided bombs, which successfully silenced the terrorists’ fire. In addition, a large number of vehicles had been abandoned in the area of the fighting, and one large truck in their midst was identified as booby-trapped with an improvised explosive device (IED). The Typhoons were able to pick out and safely destroy this truck-bomb with a single Brimstone 2 missile.
Typhoons conducted a further attack on Sunday, 17 March when the SDF came under fire at close range from a building held by Islamic State fighters in Baghuz Fawqani. The proximity of the SDF to the target required particular careful targeting by the Typhoons’ pilots, but a single Paveway IV demolished the ISIS position with great accuracy.
The crew of a Reaper observed two Islamic State terrorists, who were attempting to conceal their weapons under heavy cloaks, taking up position in a trench at Baghuz Fawqani on Monday, 18 March, and successfully blew them to pieces with a Hellfire missile. Typhoons were also patrolling the area and conducted an attack against four dispersed Islamic State positions simultaneously with Paveway IVs.
Image: an RAF Typhon takes off from RAF Coningsby (Crown Copyright, 2006).