13 Jun 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 9 Jun 16 Tornados provided close air support to Iraqi forces in and around Fallujah. On the following day
Tornados provided further support over Fallujah while a Reaper and Typhoons engaged multiple Daesh targets in Northern Iraq. On 11 Jun 16 a Reaper attacked mortar and rocket teams near Qayyarah and on 12 Jun 16
Typhoons and a Reaper attacked further targets in the area. Also on 12 Jun 16 Tornados provided close air support over Fallujah and destroyed a truck-bomb factory in Northern Iraq. (MoD, 13 Jun 16.)
On 13 Jun 16 Typhoons provided air support to Iraqi forces engaged in close combat in Fallujah. Typhoons continued their attacks on the following day as a Reaper attacked four targets near Qayyarah. On 15 Jun 16 Typhoons destroyed seven terrorist teams during continued fighting in Fallujah. (MoD, 16 Jun 16.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary was quoted as saying (14 Jun 16): “We are playing a major supporting role in the Operations to retake Fallujah. Since the start of the Iraqi Operation, the RAF has attacked 51 targets in the area – destroying bunkers, tunnels, weapons factories, ammunition dumps, sniper teams and artillery.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/24, 20 Jun 16)
13 Jun 16. Mediterranean: OP SOPHIA. The Armed Forces. Minister said (13 Jun 16) that the MoD was committed to maintaining HMS ENTERPRISE in
OP SOPHIA until August 2016. The Minister went on to say: “We will continue to asses our contribution in line with the changing mandate and requirements of the Operation.”
Comment: On 15 Jun 16 a Foreign Office Minister gave further details of OP SOPHIA, the European Union’s counter-migration Operation. The UK has rescued almost 18,000 people in the Mediterranean since 2015. The
UK is working on a “detailed plan” with the Libyan authorities “to boost the capability of the Libyan Coastguard to stem the flow of illegal migration across the Mediterranean”. A UN Security Council Resolution is anticipated. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/24, 20 Jun 16)
14 Jun 16. NATO: Collective Defence. NATO Defence Ministers agreed (14 Jun 16) on measures “to strengthen the Alliance’s Defence and Deterrence”. The Secretary-General confirmed that NATO is to deploy (by rotation) four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. On the following day (15 Jun 16) the Defence Secretary confirmed that the UK “will be leading one of four framework battalions to offer more Enhanced Forward Presence on the Eastern flank”.
Comment: The Secretary-General also noted “a small increase” in Defence spending by Canada and European Allies during 2015, with “a further increase” anticipated for 2016. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/24, 20 Jun 16)
13 Jun 16. China (PRC): Security Dialogue. The Chinese Secretary-General of the Central Commission on Political and Legal Affairs and the UK National Security Adviser co-chaired the first China-UK High Level Security Dialogue (13 Jun 16). The two sides agreed that the dialogue was an important measure to implement the Joint Statement on the Global Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (dated 22 Oct 15). The two sides agreed the direction of future co-operation in counter-terrorism, cyber crime, organised crime, illegal migration and related fields.
Comment: Subsequently (on 17 Jun 16) there was a newspaper report that HMS SOMERSET had shadowed a Chinese warship through the Channel; with the Defence Secretary quoted as saying that the UK enjoys “positive relations” with China. The frigate XIANGTAN.s visit to UK waters was also recorded by ‘Navy News.’(17 Jun 16), confirming that the ship was on its way to Germany to take part in Kiel Week. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/24, 20 Jun 16)
14 Jun 16. Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA): Facts & Figures. The Armed Forces. Minister answered a series of Questions about the RFA (14/15 Jun 16). The number of RFA employees on 1 Apr 08 was 2