Today three interesting, and linked pieces arrived in my inbox. The first detailed the increase in UK airstrikes against ISIL/ISIS/Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The Second, how the Anti-ISIL coalition are doing serious damage to the ISIL structure. Third, a piece showing that the RAF were not responsible for civilian casualties as some had claimed.
The First article by Chris Cole over at Drone Wars is really interesting. It’s one of his regular articles breaking down and visualising the data released by the MoD about RAF operations against ISIL. The article details not only the significant increase in airstrikes by the RAF, but also the differences in the recently changed methodology for assessing airstrikes by the UK.
The rest of the Anti-ISIL coalition used the same methodology, so changing from the UK to Coalition methodology allows for easier information analysis. It all arises from questioning what constitutes a single ‘airstrike’: dropping one missile? Dropping several on one target? Multiple missiles from several aircraft on a single target? What about different parts of a large target? All very complicated, articles linked above doa good job of explaining.
If you want further details of airstrike numbers, here is a great place to start.
The Second article of the day was from the US Department of Defense, via Global Security. This basically said, the airstrikes are working, ISIL leadership is being degraded, hsaking the leadership, revenue streams are being significantly damaged, and they’re having to rely on forced conscription to populate their ranks.
All sounds positive in relation to the mission.
The Third article to appear in my inbox was from AirWars, and detailed how Scottish media and the SNP has put reports of RAF airstrikes in Mosul and Ramadi, and reports of civilian casualties together and questioned whether the RAF has caused them
They hadn’t. Another Coalition ally might have done. As far as I’m aware, the RAF has caused zero confirmed civilian casualties during Operation Shader. Of course, ‘confirmed’ causes problems – but I hope it’s true.
If you want to see my thoughts on the legality of the Syria Strikes, you can so so here.
Until next time!