Britain begins air strikes in Iraq

Published October 1st, 2014 - 06:30 GMT

Britain's Royal Air Force has begun its aerial bombardment of Islamic State targets in Iraq, the Ministry of Defense confirmed Tuesday.

The strikes were authorized by Parliament on Friday after lawmakers approved Prime Minister David Cameron's request for Britain to join the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against IS.

"In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, 2 Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in northwest Iraq who were under attack from IS terrorists," the ministry said in a statement.

The RAF patrol released a Paveway IV guided bomb to strike "an IS heavy weapon position" and a Brimstone missile to attack "an IS armed pick-up truck in the same area," with initial reports that both strikes were successful.

Defense Minister Michael Fallon said Tuesday "the RAF have been flying day and night since Parliament gave that authority last Friday and they have been flying important missions, gathering intelligence, deterrents against IS terrorism, driving them back from the villages, as well as being there in close support when they are tasked to go down and help, in particular fighting, and that's now what they've done today."

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