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Update: air strikes against Daesh

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

14 October 2020


  • Tuesday 6 October – an RAF Reaper killed terrorists who had attacked Iraqi security forces in the Anbar desert.


UK Armed Forces continue to provide a significant contribution to the global coalition ensuring the Daesh terrorist group does not become resurgent in Syria and Iraq, with Royal Air Force aircraft flying daily armed reconnaissance patrols. On Tuesday 6 October, a small group of Daesh extremists attacked Iraqi security forces in the desert of Anbar province, west of Baghdad. A coalition air strike provided immediate support to the Iraqi troops, and succeeded in destroying half the attacking Daesh group. An RAF Reaper was then tasked to deal with the remaining terrorists. The crew of the Reaper successfully located them, and at an appropriate moment, with no sign of a strike posing any risks to friendly forces or any civilians, conducted a carefully planned attack with a GBU-12 guided bomb. The Iraqi forces subsequently reported that the threat had been eliminated.

Previous update

As part of the UK's contribution to the Global Coalition in the fight against Daesh, the Royal Air Force continues to fly daily missions against the terrorist movement in Syria and Iraq. Our aircraft conduct strikes on terrorist targets when required.

Intelligence analysis confirmed that a Daesh leadership group had established a cave network 85 miles west of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. An RAF Reaper kept a close watch on the location during the early hours of Thursday 20 August. When terrorists were identified at the cave entrance, the Reaper's crew conducted an attack with a single Hellfire missile, having first swept the area for any signs of civilians who might be placed at risk. The missile struck the target accurately, and the blast was observed to emerge from another part of the cave network, indicating that weapon's effect had reached deep inside the caves.

In addition to this, an RAF Reaper maintained surveillance on another set of caves in the area on Wednesday 26 August, which confirmed the presence of a number of Daesh extremists at the site. When terrorists were observed at the mouth of one of the caves, the Reaper's crew engaged successfully with a Hellfire missile, then provided surveillance support to a follow-up attack by two coalition fast jets which struck the rest of the Daesh position.


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