RAF MQ-9 Reaper, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, by Steve Bain (Crown Copyright, 2010)

RAF Drone Interrupts ISIS Execution

Reaper Uses Hellfire to Disrupt Islamic State Atrocity

An RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft observed a group of Islamic State fighters in Abu Kamal, eastern Syria, mustering a large crowd of civilians in one of the town’s main streets on Tuesday 9 May, according to a Ministry of Defence briefing released May 16. Abu Kamal, also Al-Bukamal (Arabic: البوكمال‎‎), is a city on the Euphrates river in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate of eastern Syria, lyinfg strategically near the border with Iraq. The Reaper operators watched as a van then unloaded two shackled prisoners in front of the crowd. It became clear that Islamic State were organising a public execution.

Due to the large number of civilians present, the Reaper’s crew could not target directly the Islamic State fighters about to carry out the murders. However, two armed Islamic State fighters were stationed as sentries on the roof of a building overlooking the scene. A Hellfire missile was fired immediately and scored a direct hit. One of the sentries was killed outright and the execution came to an immediate halt, as the Islamic State fighters fled the scene, and the crowd of civilians dispersed.

Islamic State have been in control of Abu Kamal since 2014 and was the scene of fighting during the 2016 Abu Kamal offensive, codenamed Operation Day of Wrath.

Typhoons Support SDF Operations Near Raqqa

Operation Shader strikes continued across Syria Typhoons struck a terrorist mortar team north of Raqqa, Syria, on May 10. Typhoons attacked three targets in eastern Syria, as well as a truck-bomb factory north-west of Raqqa on May 11.

On May 10, Typhoons patrolling over Syria successfully struck an Islamic State mortar team that was firing on Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) some five miles north of Raqqa. On Thursday, May 11, a pair of Typhoons, armed with Paveway IVs, destroyed a truck-bomb staging area some fifteen miles north-west of Raqqa, while another pair supported the SDF in eastern Syria, hitting a mortar team and two Daesh-held buildings near Al Ulwah.

Image: RAF MQ-9 Reaper, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, by Steve Bain (Crown Copyright, 2010)

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