RAF Reaper 39 Squadron, armed with Paveway guided bombs and Hellfire missiles, Operation Shader (Crown Copyright, 2018)

RAF Fighting ISIS Drones in Syria

Reapers and Typhoons Take on the Terrorist Drones

Latest reports released by the Ministry of Defence show the Royal Air Force engaging with ISIS drones and drone teams in eastern Syria, as well as hitting ISIS fighters in northern Iraq, as Operation Shader continues against the menace of the Islamic State. The reports cover five engagements for March 2018.

RAF Hunting the Drones

Royal Air Force aircraft have continued to fly daily armed reconnaissance missions over eastern Syria against the Islamic State. A terrorist drone was reported north of Abu Kamal in the Euphrates valley of Syria on Thursday 8 March, and an RAF Reaper was launched to hunt for it. The Reaper’s crew spotted the conventional winged drone on a flat roof where it had landed. Having conducted a careful check for any signs of civilian life in the area, the drone was then destroyed by a direct hit from a Hellfire missile.

On Saturday, 10 March, a Typhoon patrol identified an Islamic State team flying a quadcopter drone from a building in the Euphrates valley.  armed with Paveway IV guided bombs s was able to strike successfully a Daesh team flying.

ISIS Still in Northern Iraq

A further attack was conducted in Iraq on Sunday 11 March after coalition surveillance identified a small group of Islamic State fighters in a hilly region some 25 miles south east of Qayyarah. RAF fighter jets scrambled when Iraqi security forces requested assistance in dealing with them. Two Tornado GR4s eliminated the ISIS group with a single Paveway IV, preventing any effort to re-establish terrorist activities in the area.

Reapers Bring Hellfire to Islamic State

On Sunday 18 March, a Reaper tracked a pair of terrorists on a motorcycle south-east of As Shadadi in eastern Syria. It became clear that they were operating as a mobile checkpoint in an attempt to exert control over the local area. The Reaper’s crew waited until the motorcycle was in open country, and despite its high speed, achieved a direct hit with a Hellfire, killing both of the Islamic State fighters.

A Reaper tracked a group of Islamic terrorists in a vehicle in the Syrian Euphrates valley on Monday 26 March, and successfully destroyed it and its occupants with a precision Hellfire missile attack.

Source: MOD.

Image: A Royal Air Force Reaper UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) from 39 Squadron, armed with Paveway bombs and Hellfire missiles (Crown Copyright, 2018).