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UK says it bombed Islamic State fighters in Iraqi mountains last month

Defence ministry says it carried out several air strikes as part of a coordinated 10-day operation with local ground forces
The Ministry of Defence said three RAF Typhoon FGR4 fighter jets attacked using Storm Shadow missiles (File pic/AFP)

Britain carried out several air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq last month as part of a coordinated 10-day operation with local ground forces, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Thursday.

Iraqi Security Forces troops cleared IS forces from the Makhmur mountains region, southwest of Erbil, while Royal Air Force (RAF) and other coalition aircraft carried out an air offensive during the operation, the MoD said.

The operation concluded on 22 March when IS forces were confirmed to be based in a network of caves in the Makhmur mountains, Reuters reported.

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Three RAF Typhoon FGR4 fighter jets attacked them using Storm Shadow missiles.

The MoD said the strike was assessed by subsequent surveillance to have been a success.

“The British Armed Forces, alongside our Iraqi and Coalition partners, continue to root out Daesh terrorists from where they hide,” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for IS.

“The UK is committed to defeating Daesh," Wallace added.

"This operation will prevent the terrorist group and its toxic ideology from regaining a foothold in Iraq and reduce its capability to coordinate attacks around the world.”

The MoD said that in a separate operation on 4 April, an RAF Reaper drone, armed with Hellfire missiles, successfully struck a small group of IS fighters in northern Syria, some 80km west of Al Hasakah.

The Mod said that although IS had been territorially defeated, it was estimated that there are still approximately 10,000 fighters across Syria and Iraq.

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