RAF Joins Battle for Tal Afar
RAF Tornados and Typhoons Bomb ISIS Positions
In the run-up to the advance on Tal Afar by Iraqi ground forces, RAF aircraft were deployed to soften up enemy positions. As the Iraqis moved forward, RAF Tornados and Typhoons were able to provide vital close air support as part of Operation Shader, Britain’s contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve and the Global Coalition against the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL and Daesh).
Supporting the Advance on Tal Afar
An ISIS mortar team was identified near Tal Afar on Thursday, 10 August, and a mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair operating over northern Iraq were called in to assist. A Paveway IV guided missile was fired, destroying the insurgents.
With the Iraqi forces now advancing on Tal Afar, a mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair provided close air support on Thursday, 17 August. A coalition surveillance aircraft spotted an ISIS mortar, and was able to guide the RAF aircraft into a successful attack with a Paveway IV.
Two mixed flights of Tornados and Typhoons continued to assist the Iraqi forces around Tal Afar on Sunday, 20 August. Paveway IV were used to destroy two mortar and rocket teams, an anti-tank missile team, and a group armed with rocket-propelled grenades, whilst a Brimstone missile accounted for a small group of ISIS militants caught manoeuvring in the open.
Image: A Typhoon F2 fighter aircraft (top) from 11 Squadron, RAF Coningsby, in close formation with a Tornado F3 aircraft formerly from the same Squadron (Crown Copyright, 2007)