UK’s Royal Air Force in operation to clear ISIS stronghold in Iraq

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Missiles and bombs had been used to clear a stronghold of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in northern Iraq as a part of a joint operation with floor forces in the area, the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) stated on Thursday.

In an operation lasting 10 days throughout March, the Iraqi Security Forces floor troops cleared ISIS terrorists from the Makhmur Mountain area, south-west from Erbil, whereas RAF and different Global Coalition plane carried out a significant air offensive in assist.

The operation started when ISIS extremists had been confirmed to be primarily based in a community of caves in the Makhmur mountains and concluded on March 22.

“The British Armed Forces, alongside our Iraqi and coalition partners, continue to root out Daesh [ISIS] terrorists from where they hide,” stated UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

“The UK is committed to defeating Daesh. This operation will prevent the terrorist group and its toxic ideology from regaining a foothold in Iraq and reduce its capability to coordinate attacks around the world,” he stated.

Since the caves had been assessed to be a very difficult goal, three Typhoon FGR4s had been tasked to conduct an assault utilizing Storm Shadow missiles, the distant space having first been checked to make sure that no civilians could be positioned in danger. The strike on the ISIS targets was assessed by subsequent surveillance to have been successful, the RAF stated.

Throughout the 10-day operation, the RAF used 42 Paveway IV bombs and 10 Storm Shadow cruise missiles have been used in the course of the a number of strikes all through the operation. According to the UK armed forces, the operation builds on the success of latest years and represents a major improve in exercise from earlier months. This was the primary operational use of the Storm Shadow cruise missile from a Typhoon FGR4 plane.

“The Royal Air Force and wider coalition have supported an operation led by a highly capable unit from the Iraqi Security Forces. Together, we are working towards defeating the remnants of Daesh and ensuring its will is depleted,” stated Air Commodore Simon Strasdin, the Air Officer Commander of 83 Expeditionary Air Group and the UK Air Component Commander in the Middle East.

“The commitment and dedication from the personnel deployed on operations across the Middle East is simply outstanding. It is even more impressive that the Royal Air Force can adapt and continue to deliver air power against the enemy during a global pandemic,” he stated.

An unnamed Typhoon FGR4 pilot who was concerned in the operation stated: “I really feel extremely proud to have been ready to assist the latest coalition operation in the Makhmur Mountains. We had been eradicating Daesh from the area and denying them a vital secure haven from which to proceed their operations in Iraq and Syria.

“As part of this operation, the Squadron took part in two combined missions involving coalition assets. It is always very professionally satisfying to work alongside our allies to achieve the task.”

In a separate operation carried on Sunday, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, recognized a small group of ISIS terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there have been no civilians close by, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, hanging the goal efficiently, the RAF stated.

In reference to the continuing Operation Shader in the area, the RAF described it as “essential” to dismantling ISIS networks and lowering the terrorist group’s international ambitions. Though ISIS has been territorially defeated, it’s estimated there are roughly 10,000 terrorists nonetheless at giant throughout Syria and Iraq.

The UK stated, along with 82 companion nations of the Global Coalition, it stays dedicated to working with Iraq to not solely degrade and finally defeat ISIS however to additionally improve its safety.

In addition to air strikes, the RAF can be finishing up Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Air to Air Refuelling and Air Transport sorties utilizing Reaper, Voyager, C130 and A400Ms plane.

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