RAF strikes help Iraqis win back Ramadi from IS


IS conflict
RAF air strikes aided the Iraqi push to retake the city of Ramadi from Islamic State control, the Ministry of Defence said after operations in the region continued at "high intensity" during the festive period in the UK.

On Christmas Day a Reaper drone hit an IS checkpoint with a Hellfire missile south of the extremists' stronghold of Raqqa in Syria - but British military operations remained mostly focused in neighbouring Iraq.

Iraqi military commanders said they had won back control of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, which was overrun by the Islamist militants in May in an embarrassing reverse for Baghdad.

An RAF spokesman said armed reconnaissance missions by Tornado and Typhoon jets as well as drones had taken out targets including large groups of terrorists engaged with Iraqi government forces.

A number of successful strikes were also carried out near the city of Mosul and in support of Kurdish Peshmerga forces in close combat with IS fighters in the north of the country.