Britain conducts first drone strike against IS in Iraq

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London: Britain has carried out its first airstrike by a drone in Iraq as British forces continued air operations to help the Iraqi government fight the Islamic State (IS) group, Britain’s ministry of defence said Monday.

The drone, described by the MoD as “a Royal Air Force (RAF) Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS),” adopted procedures identical to those of manned aircraft and successfully attacked the IS militants using a Hellfire missile over the weekend, Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

The British Reaper continued to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to coalition aircraft which enabled them to conduct further strike.

A series of coalition missions were conducted near Baiji in north of Baghdad, the statement added.

On Sunday morning, two RAF Tornado GR4s were also tasked to investigate suspected IS activity near Al Anbar, west of Baghdad.

The ministry said a single Brimstone missile was used to “successfully destroy” a shipping container used by the IS to store equipment to support extortion and control of the local population.

Britain is a member of a US-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against the extremist IS militants in Iraq and Syria.

Britain carried out its first bombing strikes on IS targets in Iraq in late September, after British lawmakers gave green light to the military action against the IS. The authorisation ruled out deploying British troops in ground combat operations.

 

IANS