British fighter jets and drones blow up ISIS bomb factories and heavy weapons
British fighter jets and drones have blown up ISIS militants, bomb factories and heavy weapons during a series of dramatic airstrikes in Syria.
Footage shows rockets pounding the terror group’s last stronghold in the Euphrates valley in eastern Syria close to the border with Iraq.
Typhoon and Tornado jets as well as Reaper drones destroyed a machine gun position, a truck bomb, two IED workshops and an underground stash of weapons as they launched ten raids in 19 days over Christmas.
Video captured from above shows huge explosions as rockets hammered enemy targets. The air strikes were backed up by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the ground.
ISIS extremists are clinging to a handful of villages on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River.
On December 19, the SDF found a truck bomb and a Tornado unleashed a Paveway IV guided bomb to take it out.
Two days later, Reaper drone crew used a Hellfire missile to target a small group of ISIS fighters while Tornados destroyed two workshops producing improvised explosive devices.
The following day, a Reaper was used once again to score a direct hit on terrorists manning a heavy weapon. This was followed up with Paveway IV attacks on heavy machine-gun position and two more ISIS boltholes.
On Christmas Eve, Tornados bombed two terrorist-held buildings in the path of an SDF advance. Rockets were also used to ‘crater’ a road and prevent ISIS from moving their deadly truck bombs to new shelters.
Three days later, Typhoons bombed two more buildings held by ISIS, while Tornados hit a third.
British aircraft have also been helping Iraqi forces to stop terrorists from regaining a foothold in the country.
Intelligence established that a terrorist stockpile of weapons was hidden deep in the western deserts of Iraq’s Anbar province, and two Tornados were tasked with its destruction on December 28.
Two Paveway IVs were used to destroy the arsenal before terrorists were tracked to underground tunnels north of Baghdad. There were destroyed with the terrorists still inside, the Ministry of Defence said.
Further Reaper strikes took place on January 6 in Syria.
Die-hard jihadists are still trying to defend their last bastions in eastern Syria.
The SDF launched what is meant to be the final offensive on the jihadist organisation four months ago with air and ground support from coalition forces.
The Kurdish-Arab alliance has deployed some 17,000 fighters for an operation aimed at flushing out ISIS from the last rump of its now-defunct ‘caliphate’.
According to the Observatory, more than a thousand ISIS jihadists have been killed since the start of the operation on September 10, while 602 members of the SDF have also died.
Officials say the jihadists’ defences in the area have collapsed and the end of the battle is near.
Fanatics who remain however include seasoned fighters who have little to lose and are prepared to die in a last stand.
The meanders of the Euphrates in the east of Deir Ezzor province near the border with Iraq are considered the heartland of ISIS and are perilous terrain for the SDF.
‘Their defence lines have been shattered. The jihadists are mostly using snipers, snap attacks, tunnels and landmines’ to slow the SDF’s inexorable advance, Abdel Rahman said earlier this week.
In mid-December, the SDF took Hajin, the last town of note in the ISIS-controlled pocket, signalling the imminent fall of the jihadists’ last bastion.
Source: Daily Mail