The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Update: air strikes in Iraq

15 April 2015

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

Latest update

Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado aircraft, operating as part of the international coalition supporting the government and people of Iraq, have conducted further successful air strikes against the ISIL terrorist network.

Two Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over Mosul on Friday 10 April and destroyed an ISIL vehicle with a Paveway IV precision guided bomb. On Saturday 11 April another GR4 mission provided support for Iraqi troops in Anbar province and identified a factory being used by ISIL to manufacture vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. The GR4s conducted attacks on four targets within the factory, again using Paveway IVs.

In the early hours of Monday morning, GR4s once again provide close air support for Iraqi ground forces, on this occasion in and around Bayji. Patrolling ahead of the Iraqi troops, RAF aircraft successfully attacked four buildings within an ISIL military compound with Paveway IVs.

British military personnel continue to play a prominent role in both the coalition headquarters, coordinating support to the Iraqis, and in the international training programme helping improve the capabilities of the Iraqi and Kurdish troops. A particular focus for the UK effort is leading the development of a coalition training package to train and equip these forces to deal more effectively with the threat from improvised explosive devices. Other RAF aircraft flying on operations, as part of the coalition air campaign to support the Iraqi government, include: Reaper remotely piloted aircraft providing armed overwatch for Iraqi troops; Sentry command and control aircraft; Sentinel surveillance platforms; Hercules air transports; and, in the air-to-air refuelling role so important in sustaining lengthy air patrols, a Voyager tanker.

Previous air strikes

2 April: Two Tornado GR4s flew an armed reconnaissance patrol. As well as conducting surveillance with the advanced Raptor pod fitted to the aircraft, the GR4s were able to provide support to Kurdish peshmerga near Sinjar, whose advance had brought them into contact with an ISIL heavy machine-gun position in a building. Working in coordination with the ground forces, the GR4s were able to demolish the position with a pair of Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

3/4 April: A further Tornado patrol conducted an intensive series of successful strikes to help disrupt an attempted ISIL attack south-east of Mosul. The first target was a vehicle which was hit by a Brimstone missile. Two more Brimstones and four Paveway IVs were used against an armed pick-up truck and five terrorist positions.

Other RAF aircraft flying on operations, as part of the coalition air campaign to support the Iraqi government, include: Reaper remotely piloted aircraft providing armed overwatch for Iraqi troops; Sentry command and control aircraft; Sentinel surveillance platforms; Hercules air transports; and, in the air-to-air refuelling role so important in sustaining lengthy air patrols, a Voyager tanker.

British staff and liaison teams are embedded throughout Iraqi and coalition headquarters to help coordinate support in an effective manner, while military instructors continue to work with coalition partners in delivering training to the Iraqi and Kurdish forces; British trainers have played a prominent role to date in assisting the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq, and the UK is taking the lead in designing a country-wide programme for the coalition to provide training and equipment to help reduce the threat from the improvised explosive devices (IED) which are increasingly favoured by the terrorists as they are forced onto the defensive.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list