The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets conducted eight hour sorties to attack and destroy a weapons cache before conducting a simultaneous strike against four truck bombs.
The sorties were conducted on 23 September. “Whilst this sortie was the longest flown by RAF Typhoons to date the nature of the mission was no different to those flown day in day out over the past three years of this operation by both Typhoon and Tornado aircrew. These sorties would not be possible without the tireless support of our ground crew and of the air-air refuelling team who enable us to remain on station for such long periods of time,” Flight Lieutenant Tom led the mission from RAF Akrotiri said.
During the sortie, which was mostly conducted at night, the Typhoons refuelled on a number of occasions from RAF and Coalition air-air refuelling aircraft. After scanning the areas around the targets to ensure no civilians were present the targets were struck with a total of six Paveway IV precision guided munitions. Flt Lt Tom:
“Sitting in the confines of a fast jet cockpit for such a long time can be tiring, particularly at night, but assisting the Coalition forces fighting Islamic State on the ground is extremely rewarding and more than enough to keep us focussed. By destroying vehicle borne IEDs and weapons caches we not only save the lives of troops but also civilians; IS have shown no hesitation in the past in detonating these huge bombs close to civilians.’
RAF Tornado aircraft also destroyed five truck bombs, an armed truck, a IS building and command post on a day which saw the RAF destroy a total of17 terrorist targets.
The RAF has played an essential role to allies, helping Syrian Democratic Forces engaged in ground close combat and the Iraqi Security Forces who continue their advance having liberated Mosul and Ninewah province.