13 Nov 15. Iraq: OP SHADER. On 13 Nov 15 Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri, supported by a Voyager air tanker, provided close air support to Iraqi troops fighting in the area around Ramadi. A second Tornado patrol continued to support Iraqi Forces during the night. A Reaper destroyed a terrorist vehicle on 15 Nov 15 and on 16 Nov 15 two Tornado patrols extended support to the Kurdish offensive.
The UN Security Council determined (20 Nov 15) that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) constituted an unprecedented threat to international peace and security and called upon Member States to take “all necessary measures” to prevent and suppress its terrorist acts on territory under its control in Syria and Iraq. The Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2249 (2015) condemning the terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIL.
Comment: The terrorist attacks which were condemned included those in: Sousse (26 Jun 15); Ankara (10 Oct 15); Sinaï Peninsula (31 Oct 15); Beirut (12 Nov 15) and Paris (13 Nov 15). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/46, 23 Nov 15)
18 Nov 15. HMS DEFENDER: Support to French Operations. The MoD announced (18 Nov 15) that the Type 45 destroyer HMS DEFENDER is to provide air defence cover for the French aircraft carrier FS CHARLES DE GAULLE when she deploys for operations against ISIL. Having arrived in the Middle East in early November, HMS DEFENDER is currently on a nine-month deployment as the operational destroyer for OP KIPION (working with allies in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the Gulf).
Comment: The above announcement came in the wake of a decision by the French President (17 Nov 15) to invoke the EU’s Mutual Defence Clause, under Article 42.7 of the Treaty of the European Union, following the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 Nov 15. The Clause provides for the “activation of bilateral aid and assistance” to a Member State which is the victim of armed aggression on its territory. The MoD is to consider any additional requests from France for further support. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/46, 23 Nov 15)
17 Nov 15. Syria: Support Packages. The Foreign Secretary gave details (17 Nov 15) of two proposed packages of support to the Southern Front of the moderate armed opposition in Syria. A medical and a border force project are proposed. Training and non-lethal equipment is to be provided to members of the Southern Front “in order to significantly improve their casualty evacuation capabilities and their capacity to control and defend a defined section of the Syrian-Jordanian border”. Equipment to be gifted includes medical supplies and ambulance units, generators, 4×4 vehicles, communications equipment, cameras, binoculars and other logistical equipment. Controlled items include radios, observation cameras, chargers and protective vests. The total budget for the two projects has been set at £5m.
Comment: The Southern Front is “a coalition of moderate opposition groups operating in the South of Syria”. A conference on the humanitarian crisis in Syria is to be held in London during February 2016, according to a joint announcement by Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the UK and the UN. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/46, 23 Nov 15)
20 Nov 15. Cyprus: Migrants on the Move. An MoD spokesman said (20 Nov 15) that 53 migrants were transferred to the care of the Cypriot authorities on 19 Nov 15. Over 90 of the 115 migrants who arrived at RAF Akrotiri in October have claimed asylum and the MoD is working with other nations to organise the removal of those not wishing to seek asylum.
Comment: 115 migrants arrived at RAF Akrotiri on 21 Oct 15. A House of Lords Written Answer on 19 Nov 15 indicated that those migrants who do not claim asylum “face removal to their country of origin or Lebanon.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/46, 23 Nov 15)
18 Nov 15. Typhoon Aircraft: Missiles and Numbers. The Defence Procurement Minister said (18 Nov 15) that the UK “is