British airstrikes target Islamic State amid battle for Mosul

Britain has launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the battle for Mosul this week, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Tornados targeted a lorry bomb and an armoured truck operated by the group, which the Government refers to as Daesh, on Monday, January 9, the MoD announced.

The following day "a Reaper eliminated a mortar team and a group of Daesh fighters while supporting Iraqi troops pushing into central Mosul," the Ministry said as the RAF reported the confusion caused by the attack caused Islamic State forces to fire on each other.

And a car bomb was destroyed in the east of Mosul on Wednesday, January 11, according to the MoD.

A statement from the Ministry said: "A pair of Tornados patrolled north of Mosul on Monday 9 January, assisting Iraqi forces as they cleared Daesh positions near Nineveh.

"The Iraqi troops came under fire from a Daesh-held building, as well as from a small group of extremists concealed under the canopy of another building.

"The Tornados were able to conduct a simultaneous attack on both targets, demolishing the first building with a Paveway IV guided bomb, and hitting those under the canopy with a Brimstone missile.

"A coalition aircraft had meanwhile identified a lorry-bomb nearby. Our Tornados destroyed the target with a second Brimstone.

"RAF aircraft then turned their attention to southern Mosul, where an armoured truck had been spotted. The truck was destroyed with a further Brimstone missile.

"On Tuesday 10 January, an RAF Reaper supported Iraqi troops as they advanced further into central Mosul. The Reaper's crew identified a Daesh mortar team trying to conceal their activity in a wooded area, and struck them with a Hellfire missile.

"A second Hellfire accounted for a group of terrorists close to an Iraqi unit. In the confusion of the street fighting, the Reaper observed Daesh firing on each other, with at least one fighter killed by their own side.

"Reaper operations over Mosul continued on Wednesday 11 January. Our aircraft conducted one attack in northern Mosul against a group of Daesh caught in the open. It then kept watch on a building where over a dozen Daesh fighters were observed assembling.

"The surveillance effort enabled a successful strike by a coalition fast jet which demolished the building. The Reaper then moved to patrol over eastern Mosul, where another coalition aircraft had successfully disabled a car-bomb.

"A Hellfire missile from the Reaper destroyed the threat outright."