British aircraft hit 15k hours over Syria and Iraq last year

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The combined flying hours of Reaper and Typhoon over Syria and Iraq in the last 12 months are 15,192.

The aircraft are deployed in the region as part of Operation Shader.

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, asked in a written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) flying hours and (b) air strikes have been conducted by British armed forces against Daesh in (a) Iraq and (b) Syria in each of the last 12 months.”

James Heappey, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:

“There have been 37 Weapon Release Events in the past 12 months (37 in Iraq and zero in Syria). The combined flying hours of Reaper and Typhoon during this period were 15,192 (Reaper: 7,799; and Typhoon: 7,393). As the data concern operational activity, figures may be updated in future.”

The MoD also say that UK Armed Forces continue to “provide a significant contribution to the global coalition ensuring the Daesh terrorist group does not become resurgent in Syria and Iraq, with Royal Air Force aircraft flying daily armed reconnaissance patrols”.

What is Operation Shader?

Operation Shader began on the 9th of August 2014, when the Royal Air Force began a series of humanitarian air aid drops onto Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq.

The air drops were ordered following the genocide of the Yazidi people and other ethnic minorities by Daesh in Northern Iraq, which had led to them fleeing onto the mountainside to escape Daesh.

Following the conclusion of the aid drops, the operation quickly changed to become the UK element in the US-led coalition that began the campaign to destroy Daesh. Based out of Cyprus, the Royal Air Force continues to survey and strike targets in Iraq and Syria as part of the Global Coalition under the banner of Op SHADER.

You can read more about the operation here.

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