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Britain conducts first air strikes on IS targets
Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) military jets have conducted their first bombing strikes on an Islamic State (IS) heavy weapon position in Iraq, British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Tuesday.
In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission, two Tornados were tasked with assisting Kurdish troops in northwest Iraq who were under attack from IS, also known as ISIL, according to the MoD.
"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 ISIL terrorism," British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.
"On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using the Litening III targeting pod, identified an ISIL heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces," the MoD said in a statement.
One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the ISIL position.
Following the engagement, the RAF patrol identified an ISIL armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile.
"An initial assessment indicates that both precision strikes were successful," the MoD noted.
The ministry said the action is part of the international coalition's operations to support the Iraqi government.
Fallon added: "Halting the advance of ISIL and helping the Iraqi government turn it back, and helping the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces to do that, is a huge task and is going to be a long campaign."
Britain's House of Commons on Friday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a government motion on air strikes in Iraq against IS after nearly seven hours of intense debate.
With a vote of 524 to 43, British lawmakers gave green light to the military action against IS militants, but the authorization ruled out delpoying British troops in ground combat operations.
[Source: Xinhua, London, 30Sep14]
War in Iraq
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