French Rafale Support Iraqi Forces

| May 11, 2019

French fighters from an air base in the Middle East supported Iraqis in their fight against Daesh, April 4.

French Rafale are engaged on a daily basis for the Coalition, in Iraq and Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Flying days and nights, Rafale pilots contribute to reducing Daesh’s military potential and supporting the ground troops against the terrorist group through overwatch, information missions and air strikes.

An air strike April 4 enabled the destruction of Daesh tunnels in Iraq. In coordination with the Combined Air Operations Center and Iraqi security forces, two Rafale received authorization to engage targets after an extremely rigorous targeting and identification process.

No less than five flight hours and three refuelings were needed for these two aircraft to achieve this air strike and reach the Daesh military target.

“Close air support” is usually the main mission of Rafale, which are based on an air base in the Middle East. It could be used to support ground troops with air strikes if the situation requires it.

This airstrike is the result of another kind of action from the various military capabilities available to the Coalition because it was used during a mission conducted on a planned target. This illustrates flexibility of capacities, especially from the air base in the Middle East, to fight against the resurgence of Daesh.