RAF drone strike hits 'leading' ISIS terrorist in Syria

Attack 'struck the target accurately', Ben Wallace tells the Commons

British Minister of State for Defense Ben Wallace arrives at 10 Downing Street in London. EPA
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The Royal Air Force carried out a drone strike in Syria against a “leading” ISIS terrorist who was involved in chemical and biological weapons, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the Commons on Monday.

The strike took place in December, with two missiles fired, both of which “struck the target accurately”, Mr Wallace told MPs.

ISIS once had a stronghold in north-east Syria.

Currently several groups, including US-backed Kurdish-led forces as well as Syrian government troops with their Russian and Iranian allies, control the area. But ISIS sleeper cells still carry out deadly attacks.

“The Middle East continues to harbour terrorism which is why the UK still supports the government of Iraq as part of the global coalition against Daesh,” Mr Wallace told the Commons, using another term to refer to ISIS.

“In late December, an RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft conducted a strike against a leading Daesh member in Al Bab, northern Syria.

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“The individual’s activity was related to chemical and biological weapons. The Reaper’s crew minimised potential risk to civilians before firing two Hellfire missiles, both of which struck the target accurately.

“Actions like these are vital to degrading … terrorist threat, protecting British citizens and supporting our international partners.”

The Ministry of Defence said in December: “On Tuesday 20 December, a Reaper remotely piloted aircraft kept close observation on a building near Al Bab in northern Syria where at least one active Daesh terrorist was known to be present.

“Great care was taken to ensure that any potential risks to civilians were understood and minimised before the Reaper’s crew fired a salvo of two Hellfire missiles which both struck the target accurately.”

Updated: March 13, 2023, 10:16 PM