Nach der Entscheidung des britischen Unterhauses am (gestrigen) Freitag, sich mit Luftangriffen im Irak am Kampf gegen die islamistischen ISIS-Terrorgruppen zu beteiligen, sind am Samstag zwei Tornados der britischen Luftwaffe zu einem Einsatz gestartet. Die Maschinen waren mit Paveway IV laser guided bombs bewaffnet.
Das Verteidigungsministerium in London bestätigte den Einsatz im Rahmen der Operation Shader, ohne weitere Einzelheiten zu nennen – inbesondere blieb zunächst unklar, welche Ziele die Jagdbomber angreifen sollen:
The MOD has confirmed that Royal Air Force jets have flown from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus following Parliamentary approval on 26 September.
Tornado aircraft left the base this morning, continuing a pattern of flights over Iraq which began in support of the humanitarian mission last month.
An MOD spokesman said:
We can confirm that Royal Air Force Tornados continue to fly over Iraq and are now ready to be used in an attack role as and when appropriate targets are identified.
For operational security reasons we will not be providing a running commentary on movements, but we are pleased with the response time achieved.
We will provide an update on activity when it is appropriate to do so.
Unterdessen gehen in Syrien nahe der türkischen Grenze, nahe der Stadt Kobane, offensichtlich die Kämpfe zwischen ISIS und Kurden weiter. Dabei soll es auch Luftangriffe gegeben haben, die bislang aber nicht bestätigt sind, wie die BBC meldet:
Islamic State ‚targeted by strikes on Syria border‘
Islamic State fighters near the Syrian town of Kobane, on the Turkey border, have been targeted by air strikes.
Kurdish fighters have been defending the town from an advance by Islamic State militants.
There has been no word from the US-led coalition on whether it carried out air strikes in the area.
Nachtrag zu weiteren Luftangriffen in Syrien – von AP:
US-led coalition launches new airstrikes in Syria
U.S. coalition-led warplanes struck jihadis attacking a town near the Turkish border for the first time Saturday, as well as positions including wheat silos in the country’s east, activists and a Kurdish official said. (…)
Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, said some of the strikes targeted for the first time Islamic State group positions near the northern town of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab. The town has been under attack by jihadis for days and Khalil said the strikes destroyed two tanks.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2014 – U.S. and partner nation military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria Friday and today, using fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct seven airstrikes. Separately, U.S. military forces used attack aircraft to conduct three airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.
In Syria, an ISIL vehicle was destroyed south of Al-Hasakah. Also near Al-Hasakah several buildings that were part of an ISIL garrison were destroyed. An ISIL command and control facility near Manbij was damaged. An ISIL building and two armed vehicles at the Kobani border crossing were destroyed. An ISIL held airfield, an ISIL garrison and an ISIL training camp near Ar Raqqah were damaged.
To conduct these strikes, the U.S. employed U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy attack and fighter aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates also participated in these strikes. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.
In Iraq, three airstrikes southwest of Irbil destroyed four ISIL armed vehicles and destroyed an ISIL fighting position. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.
Nachtrag 2 zu den britischen Tornados – nach einem Update des Verteidigungsministeriums in London ist klar, dass diese erste bewaffnete britische Mission ein bewaffneter Aufklärungsflug war, ohne Luftangriffe:
The MOD has confirmed that Royal Air Force jets have conducted armed reconnaissance operations over areas of Iraq.
An MOD spokesperson said:
Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft, currently deployed in Cyprus, have been flying intelligence gathering missions over Iraq for a number of weeks. Today, following the Parliamentary approval given yesterday, in company with other aircraft from the international coalition, two Tornados conducted armed reconnaissance operations over areas of Iraq where the terrorists threaten the civilian population. Although on this occasion no targets were identified as requiring immediate air attack by our aircraft, the intelligence gathered by the Tornados’ highly sophisticated surveillance equipment will be invaluable to the Iraqi authorities and their coalition partners in developing the best possible understanding of ISIL’s disposition and help acquire potential targets for future operations, either by aircraft or Iraqi ground forces.
Furthermore, we know that the very presence of coalition airpower over Iraq has a significant impact on ISIL’s efforts to attack the Iraqi people. With no effective defence against air strikes, and knowing the precision with which coalition aircraft can hit them, the terrorists are forced to be much more cautious, keeping their forces dispersed and movement inhibited. They also know that should they concentrate to deliver an attack against Iraqi or Kurdish troops, aircraft are likely to arrive overhead very soon afterwards.
The Tornados were supported by an RAF Voyager refuelling tanker. Additionally, RAF transport aircraft have in the past 24 hours delivered further supplies to the Kurdish authorities to aid their efforts in the fight against ISIL.
(Foto: die zwei britischen Tornado-Kampfjets am 27. September vor dem Start von der Royal Air Force Basis in Akrotiri auf Zypern – Sgt. Ralph Merry/MoD Photo/Crown Copyright unter MoD News License)