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Update: air strikes against Daesh

8 August 2016

British forces have continued to conduct air operations in the fight against Daesh

Latest update

- Tuesday 2 August – a Reaper provided close air support to Iraqi troops near Qayyarah. Typhoons supported Syrian democratic forces fighting in Manbij.
- Wednesday 3 August – Tornados destroyed a Daesh mortar to the north-west of Mosul.
- Friday 5 August – Typhoons attacked two terrorist positions in the Euphrates valley, while Tornados bombed a machine-gun position in north-west Iraq.
- Sunday 7 August – Tornados destroyed a number of Daesh tankers in a Syrian oilfield. Typhoons and a Reaper provided further close air support near Qayyarah in northern Iraq.


With Iraqi ground forces continuing their offensive to clear Daesh from the area around Qayyarah, a Royal Air Force Reaper provided close air support on Tuesday 2 August. The Reaper observed terrorists attempting to salvage a heavy machine-gun from a truck that had been hit by a previous coalition strike and successfully engaged them with a Hellfire missile. A second group of extremists were also attacked with another Hellfire. UK aircraft then provided targeting support that allowed a coalition fast jet to destroy a mortar team.

Over Syria, a pair of Typhoons were similarly supporting the Syrian democratic forces as they fought to secure Manbij. A number of buildings on the south-western edge of the town had been fortified by Daesh as a major defensive position. These were successfully struck by the Typhoons, using eight Paveway IV guided bombs, despite the proximity of the moderate Syrian forces.

On Wednesday 3 August, Tornados destroyed a Daesh mortar position while patrolling the north and west of Mosul.

The following day, Tornados were again active over northern Iraq and conducted a Paveway IV attack on a machine-gun position in the hills to the north-west of Tall Afar. Meanwhile, Typhoons destroyed two Daesh-held buildings in western Iraq, while assisting Iraqi forces in the Euphrates Valley.

Daesh were observed to be attempting to extract oil from one of the eastern Syrian oilfields which had been successfully targeted by previous coalition air strikes earlier this year. On Sunday 7 August, two Tornados attacked a convoy of tankers north of Abu Kamal. Four Paveway IVs and four Brimstone missiles accounted for a number of vehicles, denying the terrorists the oil revenue they desperately seek.

In northern Iraq, a Reaper and Typhoons were again supporting the Iraqi operations around Qayyarah. The Reaper conducted Hellfire attacks on a mortar team that was firing on the Iraqis and on a set of rocket rails. It then helped other coalition aircraft to successfully target an improvised armoured vehicle. The Typhoons also used three Paveway IVs to destroy three Daesh-held buildings.

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