After 600 airstrikes, British forces have only killed 7 Daesh militants .
Britain’s sophisticated air-to-surface Brimstone missiles have not killed any terrorists in Syria so far, although at least nine missiles have been fired. A single missile using radar homing and laser guidance technology costs £100,000.
The Huffington Post UK made a freedom of information (FOI) request to the British Defense Ministry and discovered the much-touted Brimstone missiles with promised standalone precision have not claimed any terrorist scalps yet.
After British MPs voted in favor of the Royal Air Force joining the Syria campaign in December, the expensive missiles were held back for at least the first month of operations.
Brimstone’s first recorded deployment took place on January 10, the Independent reports. It was aimed against terrorist supply trucks in Raqqa. By the end of January, Brimstone missiles had been used in nine raids.
“We are playing a crucial role in a campaign that will take time and patience. Using the right weapon for each scenario, RAF jets have struck Daesh [Arabic acronym for Islamic State] almost 600 times,” a British MoD spokeswoman said, adding that the RAF is driving Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) out of Sinjar and Ramadi in Iraq and has “severely weakened”key terrorist infrastructure in Syria.
According to MoD information, between December 2, 2015 and January 29, 2016, RAF airstrikes in Syria have managed to deplete IS manpower by just seven combatants. Two jihadists were killed with Paveway IV laser-guided bombs (US$20,000 each) and five were killed by US-made Hellfire missiles ($70,000 apiece) fired from Reaper UAVs.
The British MoD insists that killing terrorists is not a primary goal of the RAF in Syria. Instead, the aim is to target jihadist infrastructure, such as oil fields under terrorist control, to disrupt and degrade Islamic State’s military infrastructure, logistics’ routes and revenues.
Yet razing stationary oil extraction infrastructure does not require expensive precision weapons – an old-fashioned drop bomb would do the job.