Category Archives: Iraq News

British Jets Hit Their Targets In Iraq

isis missleAfter several failed attempts to hit the IS base in Iraq, British Tornados have finally managed to hit the weapons position manned by IS forces in a coalition mission led by US.

Two British Tornado jets took off from Cyprus to support the Iraqi government forces situated in the west of Baghdad and fired four missiles named Brimstone in a “precise attack” against two IS vehicles. Further strikes were also carried out on Wednesday. On Tuesday, September 30, the two British Tornados first carried out their strikes after the approval of military action by the House of Commons against Iraq. There were 22 attacks against ISIS militants in total – 11 in Iraq and 11 in Syria.

Although the Ministry of Defense has considered both strikes as successful, no figures have been revealed by the government as to number of ISIS supporters who have died in the attack. According to the Ministry of Defense, the strike on September 30 dropped a pave way IV guided bomb and a Brimstone missile to hit a heavy weapon position which was being manned by IS supporters and an armed pickup truck.

According to a spokesperson from the UK Ministry of Defense, “Following yesterday’s strikes on the ISIS terrorist organization, Royal Air Force aircrafts have seen further action overnight. Two Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri, conducted an armed reconnaissance mission in support of Iraqi government forces west of Baghdad.”

The UK Tornados have been flying in Iraq on reconnaissance missions since mid August. However, their first air strikes paves way for Britain’s entry in the conflict against the IS militants, thereby joining the US, Arab and the European nations who have been targeting ISIS near Syria.

Bashar al – AssadPreviously, the US attacks on ISIS militants have been done without explicit permission from the President Bashar al – Assad, which has caused certain problems between the coalition force and the Syrian air defenses during Libyan operations in 2011.

It is to be noted that the House of Commons did not approve the UK operations in Syria previously, although the government has indicated that this position might be reviewed. According to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, “When we do release our weapons we have to be absolutely sure that they are against Isil targets, that they are not going to kill innocent Sunni Muslim civilians in areas that are occupied by Isil. Otherwise we are having the opposite of the effect we are intending to have”. He further said that the UK forces will not pressured to carry out air strikes in Iraq against the IS militants.

British Tornado Jets Return To RAF with ‘no Reports’ of Bombing

british jetsThe first jets, which are known to take part in the mission against ISIS militants, have returned to RAF in Cyprus.  The RAF Tornado jets have completed their fifth mission in northern Iraq and are still looking for suitable targets of Islamic states.  In a recent report, the BBC defense correspondent has said, “no reports of any weapons dropped”.

The Ministry of Defense in London gave the confirmation that the mission had ended as the Tornados returned with their weapons still on board. The explanation, which was given, was that the Tornados did not identify any target that required immediate attack.

The RAF has a Rivet Jet plane which is responsible for setting up the surveillance system to identify the potential problems and targets; the intelligence in this case will be sought from the ground Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

In comparison to the British Tornado, the Arab and the US jets have conducted three airstrikes in the northern Iraq near Erbil, Kurdish capital and seven airstrikes in Syria against ISIS last weekend.

According to the Pentagon, US airstrikes destroyed a transport vehicle, two checkpoints of IS and a safe house in Iraq in the last attack. The US planes have also struck oil production and refining sites in addition to a command centre in Syria that was responsible for financial aid to the militants. In the recent airstrike over Iraq over the weekend, the Pentagon was aided by United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

According to Michael Fallon, UK Defense Secretary, “This is not a weekend campaign. We will see how it goes, but in the end (IS) have to be defeated in Syria.”, “This is going to take a long time.” Fallon was also found saying that 60 Britons were arrested while returning to UK from Iraq and Syria on suspicion of supporting and aiding the ISIS.

According to Cameron, the motion was limited to Iraq in an attempt to win cross party military support and avoid the defeating circumstances of last year when the Labour with Troy and Liberal Democrats blocked the air strikes against Syria’s president.

According to latest reports, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the IS militants were within 3 km of Kobane, the closest they have come since the rebellion this month. As of now, it is yet to be seen what steps will be taken by the UK Ministry and Pentagon while the IS militants march forward determinedly.