MoD’s ‘daily missions’ against IS

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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British fighter jets and drones have been deployed on a daily basis in the fight against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Tornado and remotely piloted Reaper aircraft have flown “daily armed reconnaissance missions” as part of international efforts to support Iraqi ground forces battling the extremist group, the MoD said.

In the most recent operation, a Reaper launched missile strikes on militants as they fired on an Iraqi unit in Diyala province, in the east of the country, on Friday.

The MoD said the unmanned aircraft was providing close air support to the unit at the time.

It said: “The Reaper spotted a machine-gun team firing on the Iraqi troops, and conducted a successful attack with a Hellfire missile.

“A second machine gun then opened fire on the Iraqis, and the Reaper conducted a further strike with another Hellfire.”

Meanwhile, a team of British military instructions are continuing to provide training for members of the Kurdish peshmerga, who have “seen a string of successes against Isil terrorists to the north and west of Mosul”, the MoD said.

RAF aircraft have been flying missions over Iraq since Parliament approved military action in September.

IS – also known as Isis or Isil – took control of parts of Iraq and Syria in a rapid advance last year.

Yesterday Iraq’s prime minister Haider Abadi said a major offensive is being prepared to oust the group from one of its strongholds in Mosul, the country’s third largest city, which has been under IS control since June last year.

The Iraqi prime minister insisted that he did not want the international coalition to supply ground forces but called for more equipment and training for his country’s military.

Mr Abadi said the coalition air strikes had increased “intensity and quality” in recent weeks.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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