RAF fighter jets shoot down terrorist drone in Syria

·2-min read
An RAF Typhoon at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus (PA)
An RAF Typhoon at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus (PA)

A terrorist drone has been shot down by Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets in Syria, the Ministry of Defence said.

Two RAF Typhoon FGR4s were patrolling over Syria and Iraq on Tuesday, as part of the global coalition against Daesh (Arabic acronym for so-called Islamic State), and were tasked to investigate hostile drone activity near the Al Tanf military base.

The pilots identified a small hostile drone and shot it down using an advanced short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM).

It was the first operational air-to-air engagement conducted by an RAF Typhoon, and the first air-to-air missile firing during Operation Shader, which is targeting the remnants of so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The official strike statement read: "On Tuesday 14 December, hostile drone activity was detected around the Al Tanf coalition base in Syria.

"A pair of Typhoon FGR4s from Royal Air Force Akrotiri were conducting one of their regular patrols over Syria and Iraq as part of the global coalition against Daesh, and were tasked to investigate.

"On arrival in the Al Tanf area, the pilots were able to identify a small hostile drone, and despite the diminutive size of the target, succeeded in conducting an air to air engagement with an ASRAAM which eliminated the threat it posed to coalition forces."

It comes several weeks after the RAF successfully eliminated a known terrorist threat in Syria using a remotely piloted Reaper armed with Hellfire missiles.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "This strike is an impressive demonstration of the RAF's ability to take out hostile targets in the air which pose a threat to our forces.

"We continue to do everything we can alongside our coalition partners to stamp out the terrorist threat and protect our personnel and our partners."

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