RAF Tornado Jets Bomb IS Oilfield In Syria

RAF Tornado Jets Bomb IS Oilfield In Syria

RAF jets have launched their first bombing raids against Islamic State (IS) in Syria after MPs voted overwhelmingly for military action.

Four Tornado GR4s – armed with Paveway IV guided bombs & precision-guided Brimstone missiles – took off from Akrotiri base in Cyprus to extend Britain's air war in the Middle East.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told Sky News they hit the Omar oilfield in eastern Syria – a "key infrastructure target" from which IS derives much of its revenue.

But he warned there is still plenty of work to be done in "helping to cut off the flow of arms & oil to these terrorists".

RAF raids will continue in eastern & northern Syria for "the next few days & weeks", he said.

:: Live: British Jets Target IS In Syria

Sky's Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the first missions were launched "barely an hour" after MPs backed airstrikes by a majority of 174.

"This is a show of intent from the Government," he said. "Clearly they had some pre-planned targets ready to go if the vote was a yes … they did not want to hang around."

The Tornados are a small yet significant addition to the coalition strike force in Syria & more aircraft are heading there from the UK.

TV pictures showed six Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland taking off for Cyprus.

They will be joined by two Tornados from RAF Marham in Norfolk.

Their British-designed Brimstone missiles are a vital asset, with the ability to hit targets with remarkable accuracy & limit collateral damage.

US President Barack Obama welcomed the UK's vote – saying it demonstrated the coalition's "unity & resolve".

On Wednesday night, MPs voted by 397 to 223 in favour of extending British action against IS – moreover known as ISIS, ISIL & Daesh – from Iraq into its Syrian stronghold.

The margin of victory was larger than most had predicted.

Prime Minister David Cameron opened more than 10 hours of tense debate by warning that the "women-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters" of IS were "plotting to kill us & to radicalise our children right now".

Critics have disputed his claim that 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria would be able to take on IS on the ground.

Tory chairman of the defence select committee Julian Lewis warned that "instead of having dodgy dossiers, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters".

SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist threats on social media, said "Islamic State (IS) supporters on Twitter erupted in threats toward the UK & other Western countries" following the vote.

Source: “Sky News”