The strikes, which were conducted over northern Iraq and all targets were successfully hit. Since liberating the last territory held by Daesh, in March 2019, the RAF has continued to fly daily armed reconnaissance patrols to prevent Daesh from re-establishing control of territory in Iraq or Syria.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“These strikes are another example of how the UK Armed Forces protect our nation and allies, every single day, from all those who seek to do us harm.”
The current round of strike operations is the result of the gathering of intelligence, and the thorough surveillance of the target and surrounding area for any signs of civilians, to ensure they are not placed at risk.
The strikes this month began when a RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft destroyed a bunker containing Daesh fighters, west of Tuz Khurmatu, in northern Iraq on the 8 May.
Two days later a pair of Typhoons, supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, flew an armed reconnaissance patrol over northern Iraq. During this flight and as a result of Coalition surveillance aircraft locating a cave system occupied by Daesh terrorists, the Typhoons were able to identify targets at three of the cave entrances, all of which were successfully bombed and destroyed. The caves were southeast of Hatra, on the banks of the Tharthar River.
On 13 May, Reapers again saw action west of Tuz Khurmatu, when two of the RAF’s aircraft destroyed two more Daesh-occupied bunkers.
Ten days later after locating a group of Daesh fighters hiding in woods, a Reaper dropped one bomb. The impact was seen to cause secondary explosions, indicating the likely presence of a significant stockpile of munitions.