16 Sep 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. Since 2014 UK Service personnel have been deployed to the Kurdish region to train and support the
Peshmerga in their fight against Daesh. In addition, the UK has gifted some 50 tonnes of non-lethal support, 40 heavy machine guns and over a million rounds of ammunition. (House of Commons, 16 Sep 16.)
“The attack on the aid convoy in Aleppo was appalling and a clear violation of the most basic of humanitarian principles. It is important there is a proper investigation to determine who was responsible.”
(Foreign Secretary, 20 Sep 16.)
On 12 Sep 16 a Reaper destroyed three terrorist mortars near Qayyarah and on 14 Sep 16 a Reaper attacked another two mortars near Qayyarah and Al Hawd while Typhoons bombed Daesh-held buildings near Mosul.
On 15 Sep 16 a Reaper destroyed a mortar near Al Hawd as Typhoons hit a cave and a terrorist vehicle South East of Haditha. Tornados destroyed a Daesh-held building in Western Iraq on 16 Sep 16. A Reaper took part
in the coalition air attack on 17 Sep 16 in Eastern Syria that was alleged to have struck Syrian regime forces by mistake; another Reaper provided close air support to Iraqi troops near Qayyarah. On 18 Sep 16 Typhoons bombed several terrorist targets in Western Iraq as Tornados hit three targets North of Mosul and a Reaper destroyed a vehicle near Qayyarah. Tornados struck three targets on 19 Sep 16 in Northern and Western Iraq. On the following day a Reaper conducted three attacks on terrorist activity near Sharqat as Typhoons destroyed a Daesh fuel store. During 21 Sep 16 a Reaper and four Tornados hit a number of targets near
Sharqat as another Reaper struck a checkpoint and Typhoons destroyed a bunker. On 22 Sep 16 Tornados and a Reaper destroyed four targets around Mosul, Qayyarah and Sharqat. (MoD, 23 Sep 16.)
In the two years since Air Operations began RAF aircraft have completed over 1,000 strikes in Iraq and Syria, second only to the US in both countries. UK crews have successfully struck a total of 224 terrorist targets in that time. (MoD, 23 Sep 16.)
Comment: Following the incident which took place on 17 Sep 16, a MoD spokesperson said that the UK “would not intentionally target Syrian military units” and that it was “fully co-operating with the coalition investigation”. The Defence Committee’s Report ‘UK military operations in Syria and Iraq’ was published on 21 Sep 16 as HC106 and is available via the Parliament website (www.parliament.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/37, 26 Sep 16)
16 Sep 16. OP SOPHIA: Successful Boarding. The MoD reported (16 Sep 16) that only days into her OP SOPHIA tasking, HMS DIAMOND successfully completed the first boarding in support of UN Security Council Resolution 2292 (which counters illegal arms imports/exports to and from Libya). Working with the EUNAVFOR Task Group in the Mediterranean, HMS DIAMOND’s mission is to build an understanding of trade patterns in the region and board merchant ships to validate their documentation and check that their cargo contains no illegal arms.
Comment: A Written Answer in the House of Lords (12 Sep 16) indicated that British ships had rescued over 24,000 migrants in the Mediterranean since April 2015. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/37, 26 Sep 16)
21 Sep 16. Kuwait: Defence Secretary’s Visit. The MoD reported (21 Sep 16) on a recent visit by the Defence Secretary to Kuwait; underlining “important Defence ties and to discuss shared interests.”. Command personnel from 51 Brigade have been invited to return to Kuwait in 2017, to take part in the US-led EX EAGLE RESOLVE 15. In addition, the MoD has accepted an invitation for 2nd Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment to conduct an Exercise with Kuwaiti Land Forces in 2017, rehearsing joint Operational planning and deployment.
Comment: The UK has continued to advise and develop Kuwait’s Armed Forces through a team of Officers from the British Military Mission in Kuwai