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30 May 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 22 May 17 Typhoons struck a large Daesh-held building near Raqqa as Tornados hit two terrorist positions in Western Mosul. On 24 May 17 a Reaper attacked a small group of terrorists near Raqqa while Tornados engaged four Daesh targets in Mosul. A Reaper destroyed an armoured personnel carrier West of Raqqa on
25 May 17 as Typhoons bombed a radio station East of Palmyra and Tornados attacked five targets in Mosul. Also on 25 May 17 a combined Tornado and Typhoon flight destroyed an armoured truck North West of Bayji. Tornados cratered two roads in Mosul on 26 May 17 and on the following day Tornados and Typhoons struck a machine-gun team and a truck bomb in Western Mosul. On 28 May 17 Tornados and Typhoons attacked four terrorist targets in Mosul and on 29 May 17 the aircraft hit five similar targets. (MoD, 30 May 17.)
Comment: On 29 May 17, the Council of the EU extended restrictive measures against the Syrian regime until 1 Jun 18. EU strategy on Syria states that the EU will maintain its restrictive measures as long as the repression of civilians continues. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/21, 05 June 17)
30 May 17. Russian Vessels: Passing Through. The RN reported (30 May 17) that patrol ship HMS MERSEY intercepted a group of Russian vessels in the English Channel over the Bank Holiday weekend (27-29 May 17). The Russian vessels were the intelligence ship VASILY TATISHCHEV, the depot ship PM82 in company with a Russian tug and the anti-submarine warfare destroyer SEVEROMORSK. HMS MERSEY subsequently handed over to HMS IRON DUKE to escort the SEVEROMORSK out of the UK ‘area of interest.’
Comment: The VASILY TATISHCHEV (previously PELENGATOR) is a Vishnya Class intelligence vessel, based in the Baltic. The SEVEROMORSK is part of the Northern Fleet. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/21, 05 June 17)
31 May 17. HMS MONMOUTH: Drugs Seizure. The RN reported (31 May 17) that sailors and Royal Marines from HMS MONMOUTH destroyed 455kg of cannabis and 266kg of heroin after finding it hidden in a fishing boat. Two boarding teams spent 60 hours scouring the vessel for narcotics before finding them hidden in a freezer beneath three tonnes of ice. The UK street value of the drugs was estimated at £65m. Once all the drugs had been photographed by RN Police, the packages were disposed of in the sea.
Comment: HMS MONMOUTH has continued her patrols of the Indian Ocean as part of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150); a coalition of warships with a mission to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist
acts and related illegal activities. CTF 150 is currently commanded by a French Rear Admiral, supported by a combined French-UK staff in Bahrain.
(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/21, 05 June 17)
26 May 17. G7 Summit: Statement on Terrorism. During the G7 Summit in Italy (26/27 May 17) a Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism was issued. Members agreed to combat the misuse of the internet by terrorists, address the risk posed by foreign fighters once dispersed from theatres of conflict and action to cut off sources of financing.
Comment: Attending the summit the UK Prime Minister called for the sharing of information and expertise so that foreign fighters passing through third countries on the way back to their countries of origin could be identified and brought to justice. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/21, 05 June 17)
29 May 17. UN Peacekeepers: International Day. 29 May 17 was recognised as the annual International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The day also commemorated those who lost their lives while serving on Peacekeeping Operations. Over 100 UK Service personnel formed a part of the 3,500 plus personnel who have died serving as UN Peacekeep