A Royal Air Force remotely piloted Reaper aircraft carried out an airstrike on October 25, eliminating a Daesh terrorist in northern Syria, the UK defense ministry revealed on November 27.
Armed with Hellfire missiles, the Reaper tracked a known terrorist in northern Syria, near the city of Ras al Ayn, and at a safe moment, when the individual was alone in a field, carried out a “successful strike,” the ministry said.
No further details have been revealed and the defense ministry only noted that Royal Air Force aircraft continue to fly armed reconnaissance missions as part of the Global Coalition Against Daesh’s work to support the Iraqi Security Forces keeping their country safe from Daesh terrorism.
The revealed airstrike follows an earlier one from September 6, when two RAF Typhoon FGR4s responded to a call for assistance and, working closely with the ground forces to ensure no risks were posed to either them or any civilians, used a single Paveway IV guided bomb to successfully eliminate a threat. That strike took place approximately thirty miles south of Erbil when Iraqi Security Forces came under fire from a Daesh position in an area of heavy vegetation.
The Reaper in UK service is operated by two squadrons, XIII Squadron based at RAF Waddington and 39 Squadron at Creech AFB in the United States.
The Reaper will continue to support operations until the early 2020s when they will be replaced by a next-generation RPAS; the MQ-9B Protector, which will be a step change in capability offering greater range/endurance, greater weapon capabilities and will be certified and cleared to fly in UK airspace.