Britain says for the first time it has employed its unmanned aerial drones to hit ISIL Takfiri militants in Iraq.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Monday that a remotely-piloted Reaper aircraft had successfully targeted the militants near the Iraqi city of Baiji over the weekend.
“A series of coalition missions were conducted near Baiji, north of Baghdad, where ISIL terrorists were laying improvised explosive devices,” the ministry said, adding, “The Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System, using procedures identical to those of manned aircraft, successfully attacked the terrorists using a Hellfire missile.”
The anti-ISIL bombing campaign led by Washington began on August 8 in Iraq; and in late September, the US and its Arab allies began conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The ISIL militants have seized large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, terrorizing and killing people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians in the areas they are controlling.
The airstrikes by Western powers against ISIL militants operating inside Iraq come despite the fact that militants fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are enjoying the support of the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.