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Fighter jets from the East involved in fresh strikes against Islamic State

Fighter jets from the East of England have been involved in fresh airstrikes against Islamic State militants, in wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The Ministry of Defence said Tornado fighters from RAF Marham yesterday dropped a bomb killing a group of more than 30 militants who had opened fire on Kurds in northern Iraq.

The RAF jets also destroyed mortar positions and a hit a terrorist vehicle with a Hellfire missile.

Fighter planes from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall have also been involved in strikes in Syria since the Paris attacks.

Fighter jets from the East have been involved in fresh strikes against Islamic State militants. Credit: ITV Anglia

"The first flight used a Paveway bomb to destroy a mortar position which had opened fire on the Kurds. The following mission destroyed a heavy machine gun near Mosul with a Paveway IV, then proceeded west towards Sinjar.

"There was heavy cloud, which may have encouraged the terrorists to assume that they were safe from air attack, but, working very closely with the Kurdish forces, the GR4s were able to guide a Paveway on to a large group of over 30 Daesh terrorists who were massing for a counter-attack; the Kurdish unit subsequently reported that the air strike had been highly effective.

"The Tornado patrol then destroyed another Isil mortar position south-west of Sinjar."

– Ministry of Defence statement

Fighter planes return to USA a week on from Cambridgeshire crash

An F-18 preparing for takeoff at RAF Lakenheath. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Five fighter planes have returned to the US after the sixth plane in the group crashed in Cambridgeshire last week.

Major Taj Sareen died when his F-18 came down in the Fens shortly after taking off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

The recovery operation is expected to last two weeks. This morning the remaining five planes left Lakenheath for the United States.


Memorial fund continues to grow

A memorial fund set up for the young daughter of a US Navy pilot who died when his plane crashed in Cambridgeshire has so far raised almost 35,000 dollars.

34 year old Major Taj Sareen was killed when his F/A-18 Hornet came down shortly after take off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk on Wednesday morning.

Major Sareen was a member of 232 Squadron The Red Devils who are the most decorated squadron within the US Marine Corps. It's not known why his aircraft suffered a catastrophic failure.

Wellwishers from both sides of the Atlantic have been donating to a fund set up by a family friend to be used by Major Sareen's little girl Jade when she is older.

Dead fighter pilot had young daughter

Major Taj Sareen Credit: ABC7 NEWS

The dead fighter pilot has been named by ABC News in America as Marine fighter pilot Major Taj Sareen from San Mateo County in California. He leaves a family including a young daughter.

ABC7 News says Major Sareen graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2004. He was a pilot in the Marine Corps for nearly 11 years.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Sareen joined the Marine Corps as an F/A-18 Pilot in 2005. Major Sareen was stationed at Marine Corp Air Station Miramar in San Diego County.

His jet was one of six coming back to the states from the Gulf when it crashed in Cambridgeshire.

ABC 7 News Photographer Chris Jewett attended USF with Taj Sareen. Even before Sareen embarked on his military career, Jewett says he knew he wanted to make a difference.

"He had this confidence and infectious smile. When he came in the room everyone wanted to talk to him whether he was wearing his dress blues or not," Jewett said. "It just seemed like something he was called to do, something meaningful."

You can watch the ABC7 News report here

And click below for a report on the plane crash by ITV Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

Investigators to remain at jet crash site for at least two days

The crash site at Redmere, near Ely. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Investigators say they will remain at the scene of a fatal plane crash in the Fens for at least the next two days.

The pilot was killed after the F-18 jet came down in farmland at Redmere, near Ely, yesterday morning.

Investigators spent the night at the crash site gathering evidence to try to work out what happened.

The aircraft had recently left RAF Lakenheath and belonged to the US Marine Corps.

David Tilbury filmed the planes as they took off earlier in the day.


US jet crash raises safety fears over military flights

A US aircraft crash which killed the pilot has raised questions over the safety of military flights in the Anglia region.

The FA-18 crash is the second in just over a year involving a jet taking off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk.

In October 2014 a US military F-15 crashed in Lincolnshire. On that occasion the pilot managed to eject safely.

The Spalding crash followed another accident the previous January when four US military personnel were killed when their Pave Hawk Helicopter, again from RAF Lakenheath, was brought down by a bird strike at a nature reserve in Cley-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast.

Click below for Russell Hookey's report

Jet crash witness: 'It was incredibly low and something sounded wrong'

A witness has described the moment a US jet crashed near her home.

The aircraft came down in a field shortly after taking off from RAF Lakenheath.

Hannah Bridges said: "It was obviously the plane.

"It was so loud it rattled stuff in the house. I've never heard anything like that before and we have planes fly over constantly."

"It was incredibly low and something sounded wrong.

"I think it must have come over ours and literally come down. I can't really explain the noise to you."

Click below to hear from Hannah Bridges

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