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Update: air strikes against Daesh

10 October 2017

The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria.


- Monday 25 September – a Reaper engaged four Daesh targets near Dayr az Zawr, whilst Typhoons attacked a fifth in the same area.
- Wednesday 27 September – a Reaper killed several terrorists near Dayr az Zawr; Tornados and Typhoons struck eight targets in Iraq near Ramadi, including a convoy of trucks carrying a large number of extremists.
- Thursday 28 September – a Reaper attacked three Daesh targets near Dayr az Zawr, while Tornados hit a command group south of Kirkuk.
- Friday 29 September – Tornados and Typhoons hit four terrorist positions south of Kirkuk, and a headquarters near Tikrit.
- Saturday 30 September – Tornados destroyed a truck-bomb factory in western Iraq.
- Monday 2 October – a Reaper struck a group of terrorists engaged in combat with Syrian Democratic Forces near Dayr az Zawr, Syria.
- Wednesday 4 October – Typhoons assisted in the liberation of Hawijah, destroying a Daesh mortar team and truck-bomb, while Tornados destroyed another truck-bomb near Bayji.
- Thursday 5 October – Typhoons attacked a terrorist base in eastern Syria.
- Friday 6 October – a Reaper hit three groups of extremists near Dayr az Zawr, whilst Tornados eliminated another group inside Raqqa.
- Saturday 7 October – Typhoons destroyed three Daesh positions in Raqqa.


A Royal Air Force Reaper remotely piloted aircraft patrolled some miles to the north-east of Dayr az Zawr in Syria on Monday 25 September. Its crew tracked two terrorists and conducted a successful attack with a Hellfire missile, then struck a Daesh-held building with a GBU-12 guided bomb. A second Hellfire was employed against a group of terrorists on foot, and a third destroyed a truck carrying more extremists. Two Typhoons flew a mission in the same area and, assisted by the Reaper, delivered an attack with a Paveway IV guided bomb on a position from which rocket-propelled grenades had been fired.

On Wednesday 27 September, a Reaper continued operations north-east of Dayr az Zawr, where it used a pair of Hellfires against a dispersed group of terrorists armed with rocket-propelled grenades. In Iraq, Tornados and Typhoons responded to reports of Daesh activity several miles south-east of Ramadi. Two groups of terrorists on foot were hit with Paveway IVs, as was a further group manning a trench. A convoy of trucks carrying a large number of terrorists had also been spotted, and our aircraft tracked down and attacked five of these vehicles using a combination of Paveways and Brimstone missiles.

North-east of Dayr az Zawr, a Reaper delivered three attacks on Thursday 28 September: Hellfire missiles hit a sniper team and another group of terrorists, whilst a GBU-12 was used to demolish a Daesh-held building. In northern Iraq, Tornados conducted a simultaneous attack with a Paveway IV and a Brimstone on a local terrorist command group who had been identified south of Kirkuk.

Tornados and Typhoons flew further missions south of Kirkuk the following day, when they hit a number of terrorists concealed in woodland, two entrenched positions, and a Daesh-held building. Our aircraft also used a single Paveway IV to destroy a small headquarters located in the hills to the north-east of Tikrit.

On Saturday 30 September, two Tornados, armed with Paveway IVs, destroyed a truck-bomb factory located on the southern bank of the Euphrates in western Iraq.

With Syrian Democratic Forces continuing to fight Daesh to the north-east of Dayr az Zawr, a Royal Air Force Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flew overwatch on Monday 2 October. An SDF unit reported being engaged in close combat with several terrorists, and the Reaper's crew intervened, successfully targeting the extremists with a Hellfire missile attack.

A flight of Typhoons supported Iraqi forces as they advanced to liberate Hawijah on Wednesday 4 October. Our aircraft used Paveway IV guided bombs to remove two threats which the Iraqi troops encountered: a terrorist mortar team, and a truck-bomb which was blocking a road to the north-east of the town. Meanwhile, a pair of Tornados were tasked to deal with a second truck-bomb which had been positioned by terrorists to the north-east of Bayji. The vehicle was destroyed by a direct hit from a Brimstone missile.

Intelligence had confirmed that a group of three buildings in eastern Syria, some forty miles south-east of Hasakah and close to a border crossing into Iraq, was being used as a base by Daesh. Two Typhoons conducted a carefully planned attack on Thursday 5 October, each of the three buildings being struck with a Paveway IV.

The following day, a Reaper again patrolled north-east of Dayr az Zawr; its crew delivered attacks with Hellfire missiles on three groups of terrorists, including one manning a heavy weapon, and also supported two further strikes by coalition aircraft. Two Tornados supported the Syrian Democratic Forces inside Raqqa as they cleared remaining terrorist positions in the north-west of the city. Despite the SDF being very close to the target, the Tornados delivered a precision attack with a Paveway on a Daesh group firing from a building.

On Saturday 7 October, Typhoons also operated over Raqqa, and bombed three further terrorist positions in the north-west of the city.

UK contribution to the fight against Daesh

Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader
Map of UK forces committed to Operation Shader

Campaign against Daesh

Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014
Map of Daesh losses and gains in Iraq and Syria since September 2014

Previous update

Saturday 23 September: Our aircraft were particularly active over northern Iraq. Typhoons destroyed a truck-bomb west of Hawijah, a terrorist-held building 30 miles west-north-west of Kirkuk, and a mortar team, that was firing on Iraqi forces, in the hills south-west of Zawiyyah. A second Typhoon flight successfully bombed a weapons stockpile south-east of Hawijah, then conducted a simultaneous attack on four truck-bombs blocking one of the routes of advance towards the town. Near Sudayrah, Tornados used one Paveway to destroy a pair of truck-bombs, a second Paveway to knock-out an armed truck, then a third such weapon south-east of Sharqat against a Daesh building. Another Tornado flight bombed a command post south-east of Hawijah, then used a combination of Brimstone missiles and Paveway IVs to destroy a shipping container and three truck-bombs blocking other roads into Hawijah.

Sunday 24 September: a Reaper kept watch over the area north-east of Dayr az Zawr in Syria, and used a Hellfire missile to destroy a truck-bomb. Over northern Iraq, Tornados demolished a Daesh-held building in Zawiyyah with a Paveway IV.

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