British air strikes have destroyed a site used by Islamic State (IS) as a base for drones in the battle for Mosul, the Ministry of Defence has said, according to belfasttelegraph.co.uk
A pair of RAF Typhoons bombed the Mosul building used by the group, which the Government refers to as Daesh, on January 12, the MoD announced.
A statement from the ministry said: “During the battle for Mosul, small armed remotely piloted aerial vehicles with grenades have been used by Daesh a number of times to harass Iraqi troops, with reports suggesting they have also been used to target civilian refugees.
“A building in the southern area of central Mosul was identified as being used as a base for these drones and their operators.
“On Thursday 12 January a pair of Royal Air Force Typhoons targeted the site, demolishing the building with two Paveway IV guided bombs.”
A Reaper drone watching over Iraqi forces in the city’s south east also fired missiles on “a number of terrorists armed with heavy and light machine guns”, according to the MoD.
The following day, the ministry said, the same type of aircraft spotted a “heavy rocket” being loaded into a truck by opponents.
“They and the vehicle were promptly struck by a Hellfire missile,” the statement said.
It comes after Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said two million people were freed from the rule of IS in the course of last year, as US-led coalition forces gained ground in Iraq and Syria.
Sir Michael, who is briefing MPs privately on the progress of operations against IS, described “substantial progress” in driving the group out of Iraq, with Mosul – its last stronghold in the country – expected to fall to Iraqi forces this year.
In Syria, he said the US-backed militias of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were closing around the IS “capital” of Raqqa.
In the course of last year it is estimated almost 25,000 IS fighters were killed and the group now controls less than 10% of Iraqi territory.