RAF Marham Tornados join battle for Fallujah

An RAF Marham Tornado. Photo: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire

An RAF Marham Tornado. Photo: Richard Pohle/The Times/PA Wire - Credit: PA

RAF jets have carried out strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets as the battle to oust the group from a key Iraqi stronghold continues.

https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/738361923784347648

Iraqi government forces have been fighting to regain control of Fallujah, with coalition air strikes providing support.

The Ministry of Defence released details of operations carried out by RAF jets and unmanned drones on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Video footage of one attack shows an IS truck being destroyed by an anti-tank missile fired from a Reaper drone.

On Tuesday, Tornado jets used Paveway IV guided bombs to destroy two heavy machine guns threatening the Iraqi advance on Fallujah.

Iraqi counterterrorism forces face off with Islamic State militants in the Nuaimiya neighborhood of

Iraqi counterterrorism forces face off with Islamic State militants in the Nuaimiya neighborhood of Fallujah, Iraq. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) - Credit: AP


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Two Tornado missions provided reconnaissance and close air support to Iraqi forces around Fallujah.

One pair of Tornados used Paveway IVs to attack IS-held buildings close to a canal to the south of the city, one holding a sniper and the other an anti-tank gun.

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The second Tornado flight targeted a heavy machine gun after it opened fire on the advancing Iraqi troops.

Meanwhile, in northern Iraq a Typhoon jet and Reaper drone supported the Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi forces.

Internally displaced civilians from Fallujah flee their homes during fight between Iraqi security fo

Internally displaced civilians from Fallujah flee their homes during fight between Iraqi security forces and Islamic State group on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil) - Credit: AP

The Typhoon destroyed a local IS commander's HQ near Mosul while the Reaper assisted another coalition aircraft in targeting an engineering vehicle near Qayyarah before using its Hellfire missile against IS mortar teams.

Both the Typhoons and Reaper then headed south to support the advance on Fallujah, with the jets attacking a machine-gun post and the drone destroying an IS supply truck.

The MoD said the Reaper operator watched a group of IS fighters test-firing and loading weapons, including a heavy machine gun, onto the vehicle.

Video footage shows the impact of the Reaper's Hellfire missile on the moving truck, which can then be seen veering off the road.

Iraqi children who fled from Fallujah take shelter at a school outside the Islamic State militant-he

Iraqi children who fled from Fallujah take shelter at a school outside the Islamic State militant-held city, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, June 1, 2016 as elite Iraqi forces battle to regain the territory. The U.N. children's fund has issued a stark warning to Iraqi troops and Islamic State militants in the battle for Fallujah to spare the children, the most vulnerable among tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the city west of Baghdad.(AP Photo/Anmar Khalil) - Credit: AP

A second Reaper destroyed both a machine-gun team and a vehicle carrying a recoilless anti-tank gun with its Hellfires.

The drones were in action again on Wednesday, attacking rocket launch rails near Qayyarah and a checkpoint in Iraq near the border with Syria.

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