03 Oct 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 28 Sep 16, Typhoons attacked Daesh-held buildings North East of Mosul as a Reaper destroyed a vehicle-borne mortar North East of Qayyarah. On the following day a Reaper destroyed an armed vehicle near Tall Afar. Tornados bombed a rocket launcher North of Qayyarah on 30 Sep16. A Reaper struck a terrorist position near Mosul on 1 Oct 16. Another Reaper destroyed an engineering vehicle North of Mosul on 2 Oct 16 as Tornados hit a group of terrorists East of Mosul. Typhoons also bombed six targets in Northern and Western Iraq on 2 Oct 16. (MoD, 3 Oct 16.)
On 3 Oct 16, Typhoons attacked a Daesh-held building in Eastern Syria as Tornados hit a communications installation in Northern Iraq. A Reaper bombed a vehicle North of Mosul on the following day. On 5 Oct 16, Tornados destroyed a truck South East of Mosul as Typhoons attacked terrorists North of Taji. (MoD, 6 Oct 16.)
Comment: ‘RAF News’ (7 Oct 16) includes further details about the above activities, as well as mentioning RN activity patrolling the region. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/39, 10 Oct 16)
05 Oct 16. Afghanistan: International Conference. The European Union and the Afghan Government co-hosted (5 Oct 16) the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan. The Conference brought together 75 countries and 26 international organisations/agencies. The Conference pledged “an exceptional level of funding which ensures that Afghanistan will remain on a firm path to political and economic stability, state-building and development.”.
Ahead of the Conference, the International Development Secretary announced (2 Oct 16) new UK assistance to Afghanistan. A package of long-term support worth £750m over the next four years will be dependent on the security situation and reform progress by the Afghan Government.
Comment: The Brussels Conference (above) took place almost two years after the UK and Afghanistan co-hosted the London Conference on Afghanistan (LCA). The LCA brought together 50 countries to re-affirm their support for Afghanistan. Since the London Conference the Afghan Government has delivered a number of key reforms. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/39, 10 Oct 16)
04 Oct 16. Armed Forces: Legal Claims. The Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary announced (4 Oct 16) that the Government is to protect the Armed Forces from persistent legal claims “by introducing a presumption to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in future conflicts”. (Over the past decade a series of Court judgments have extended the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the ECHR to the battlefield, thus risking seriously undermining the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces.)
Comment: The Prime Minister discussed the above with the Service Chiefs during a meeting on 22 Sep 16 when she “restated her determination to protect the Armed Forces against any instances of vexatious complaints”. ‘Soldier Magazine’ (October 2016) noted that the Iraq Historical Allegations Team had already decided that 1,500 allegations do not justify further scrutiny. 176 investigations have been completed; of which 172 were closed, one was referred to the RAF Police, one was cleared with administrative action and two were referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority (who decided not to prosecute). (Metro, 3 Oct 16) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/39, 10 Oct 16)
07 Oct 16. Scotland: EX JOINT WARRIOR/EX UNMANNED WARRIOR. EX JOINT WARRIOR started on 8 Oct 16 and is due to finish on 20 Oct 16, involving some 5,700 military personnel. 31 submarines and warships as well as about 67 aircraft are involved, with much of the activity taking place off the Scottish coast. At the same time as EX JOINT WARRIOR, the world’s first large scale demonstration of unmanned technology will take place in the Western Isles in EX UNMANNED WARRIOR. A chartered civilian vessel, Northern River, is hosting some 12 unmanned systems through th