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MoD: RAF drone joined attacks against militants in Iraq

An unmanned RAF 'Reaper' drone carried out attacks against militants in Iraq. Credit: Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that an unmanned RAF 'Reaper' drone carried out attacks against militants in Iraq for the first time at the weekend.

The MoD said the drone was used during a series of coalition missions conducted near Bayji, north of Baghdad and "successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile".

The drone also provided "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance to coalition aircraft which enabled them to conduct further strikes" according to the MoD.

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MoD: Very presence of aircraft over Iraq has an impact

The Ministry of Defence said the "very presence" of coalition aircraft over Iraq has "a significant impact" on Islamic State’s efforts to attack locally.

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have been flying over Iraq. Credit: RAF/MoD Crown Copyright 2014

"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," a spokesperson said.

"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."

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Images show RAF preparing for aid drops over Iraq

The Ministry of Defence has released footage showing the successful airdrops of humanitarian aid by the RAF in northern Iraq last night.

Aid bundles ready to be dropped over northern Iraq Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright
The inside of a Royal Air Force Hercules transport aircraft Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright
An RAF airman prepares aid bundles to be dropped over northern Iraq Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright

PM misses out as F-35 fighter jets remain grounded

Prime Minister David Cameron had been due to see the new American-built F-35 fighter aircrafts at the Farnborough International Airshow before their clearance was embarrassingly halted after a fire in Florida last month.

A full scale model of a Lockheed Martin F-35, billed as the world's most advanced fighter jet. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The grounding meant the jet was also unable to appear when the Queen named the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth earlier this month, and missed a military tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire this weekend.

A spokesman for the Farnborough event said officials were "hopeful the F-35 will fly at the airshow by the end of the week".

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