After the bombing at Manchester Arena took the lives of 22 concertgoers and injured dozens more, the Royal Air Force (RAF) is interested in sending a message. The words “Love from Manchester” were written on the side of a Paveway IV bomb that was making its way from Cyprus to ISIS territory aboard an RAF aircraft.
As reported by the Telegraph, while some had previously accused the photograph to be a fake after it made its rounds on social media, an RAF spokesperson came forward, stating, “The RAF can confirm the photo was genuine.”
The identity of the person who wrote the message is not currently known, though not due to fear of repercussion. A source with the RAF said, “The sentiment of the message written on the weapon is understandable and such writing has a history in the RAF, so the individual concerned will not be taken to task.”
What is known about the origin of the photo is the message was written by a person associated with a drone squadron. The original Twitter post included the caption, “RAF Armourer on a Reaper UAV squadron wrote this on a Hellfire missile before taking off on a Syria mission.”
Drones have been used extensively in the battle against ISIS in Syria.
As reported by The Sun, the RAF has launched over 73 air strikes over Syria between December 2015 and December 2016.
In light of the bombing, Ariana Grande, the singer whose concert was targeted, has canceled the remaining shows on her UK tour. As reported by Sky News, speaking regarding the decisions, the star’s management said the shows would not go on “until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost.”
The Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber as the Ariana Grande concert came to a close. 22 people were killed during the attack, with the youngest being an 8-year-old girl, an nearly 60 were confirmed injured.
The explosion also killed the assailant, Salman Abedi, 22, in what was deemed the most deadly terrorist attack in Britain since 2005.