14 Apr 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 18 Apr 16 Typhoons located a concealed artillery piece (or ‘hell cannon’) which was then destroyed with a Paveway IV guided bomb. A Reaper struck a Daesh mortar team in Western Iraq on 9 Apr 16. On the following day, Tornados attacked a suspected Headquarters in Northern Iraq as well as a rocket base and a sniper team.
RAF patrols continued in Northern Iraq on 11 Apr 16: Typhoons destroyed a terrorist machine-gun team and three Daesh positions. On 12 Apr 16 Tornados struck three Daesh positions in Northern Iraq while Typhoons
destroyed two terrorist strong points in the West of the country. (MoD, 14 Apr 16.)
Comment: The MoD confirmed (14 Apr 16) that the RAF, within the wider Coalition campaign, continued to be tasked to provide support to the Iraqi security forces in Western and Northern Iraq as well as conducting broader reconnaissance missions. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/15, 18 Apr 16)
14 Apr 16. Libya: International Assistance. The Armed Forces. Minister said (14 Apr 16) that Italy is leading the planning for a Libya International
Assistance Mission. The Minister went on to say: “The capabilities, troop numbers and objectives for any potential deployment are not yet sufficiently developed and will be further refined once a request for support has been received and the requirement becomes clear. No decisions have been made about the contribution of any British military forces to this mission.”
Comment: The above Ministerial Answer followed publication (13 Apr 16) of correspondence between the Foreign Secretary and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) over the possible deployment of
British troops to Libya. The Foreign Secretary’s letter is dated 27 Mar 16 and the FAC Chairman’s response was written on 12 Apr 16. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/15, 18 Apr 16)
13 Apr 16. Lebanon: Increased Support. The Defence Secretary met his Lebanese opposite number in London (13 Apr 16) “to strengthen the Defence relationship between the two countries, as Lebanon plays a role in the counter-Daesh coalition”. The Lebanese
Minister of Defence was reassured of the UK’s commitment to Lebanese stability. The Defence Secretary noted that “Lebanon is on the front line” and that the UK has increased support for the development of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Comment: The MoD deploys some 20 Short Term Training Teams to Lebanon each year; to train the LAF in counter-terrorism, search & rescue and military intelligence. About 30 members of the LAF have attended training courses in the UK during the past year. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/15, 18 Apr 16)
10 Apr 16. Combined Task Force (CTF) 150: Change of Command. The Royal Navy took command (10 Apr 16) of CTF 150 following a handover ceremony with the Royal Australian Navy in Bahrain. CTF 150.s principal mission is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their unlawful activities by restricting freedom of manoeuvre at sea. CTF 150 has been combating terrorism by tackling narcotics and weapons smuggling and its vessels also assist mariners in distress.
Comment: HMAS MELBOURNE made three successful drug interdictions while assigned to CTF 150, in addition to the interceptions made by other vessels. HMAS DARWIN and FS PROVENCE seized rifles, machine guns, mortars and rockets which had been destined for terrorists (a total of over 4,000 weapons). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/15, 18 Apr 16)
15 Apr 16. Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS): Membership. The RN announced (15 Apr 16) that the Service has been successful in its application for Observer membership of the WPNS. Alongside Colombia, the UK’s application was approved unanimously by the representatives of the 25 nations attending the Symposium in Indonesia.
Comment: WPNS was founded in 1988 with the aim of helping the Navies of the region to increase the ability to operate together. By 1998 memb