A video released by the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) earlier this week shows a British RAF Reaper drone tracking down an armored vehicle used by the Islamic State group in Iraq and destroying it with a Hellfire missile. The video also shows the drone blowing up an armored personnel carrier.
The footage shows an ISIS vehicle moving along a dusty Iraqi road before the driver stops it under a palm grove and flees. Moments later, the vehicle explodes into flames as it is hit by a Hellfire missile fired from an unmanned Reaper drone operated from a control center at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, England, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
“Although the terrorists attempted to conceal their vehicle in a palm grove, this proved no defense against the Reaper,” a MoD spokesman told the Daily Mail. “The Reaper subsequently destroyed an armored pick-up truck, which had been converted to a large car bomb.”
Reaper drones, which have proven highly effective in tracking down ISIS installations, can hit targets on the ground from an altitude of up to 50,000 feet and can carry an explosives payload of up to 10,000 pounds.
British warplanes, including drones and Tornados, have reportedly killed nearly 250 ISIS militants in Iraq between October and May. In January, 50 ISIS militants were killed by the U.K. military, followed by 11 in February, 31 in March, 38 in April and 37 in May, according to the Daily Mail. Britain has deployed eight Tornado GR4 jets in Iraq, which have carried out 300 strikes during more than 1,000 missions against ISIS in the region since October.
Earlier this week, Afghanistan’s top ISIS leader Shahidullah Shahid was killed by a U.S. drone strike. And, last week, a U.S. drone strike in Syria killed a senior ISIS leader, named Tariq bin Tahar al-'Awni al-Harzi, who was responsible for recruiting foreign fighters, securing arms and raising funds for the militant group.