UK air strikes 'killed 1,300 IS militants' in 12 months, figures show

Image source, MOD/Crown Copyright
Image caption,
An RAF Tornado aircraft, of the type used in air strikes in Iraq

More than 1,300 militants from so-called Islamic State were killed by British air strikes in Iraq over a 12-month period, according to new figures.

A further 111 are thought to have been wounded in the strikes.

Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning revealed the figures after a written parliamentary question by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.

He said they were an estimate because strike sites cannot be visited and assessed by the UK.

Mr Farron had asked the Ministry of Defence how many militants from the terrorist group had been killed by British forces in Iraq from 2 December 2015 to 2 December 2016.

Mr Penning replied: "During the period in question it is assessed that there were a total of 111 enemy wounded in action and a total of 1,306 enemy killed in action as a result of UK air strikes.

"The UK cannot visit strike sites and conduct detailed investigations on the ground in Iraq. Therefore the number of combatants killed and/or wounded is an estimated figure only."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The aftermath of an air strike in Mosul in March 2017 (file picture)

The UK parliament backed British participation in air strikes against IS in Iraq back in September 2014. Just over a year later in 2015, MPs authorised air strikes against IS in Syria.

The UK has conducted more than 1,200 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since it became involved - more than any other coalition country bar the United States.

BBC analysis has shown that in 2017, UK forces dropped bombs in Iraq and Syria on 69 of the first 99 days of the year.

RAF Typhoons and Reaper drones have been supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces trying to liberate Mosul, northern Iraq, in recent months.

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