First Airstrike By British Jets

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British jets have carried out their first strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq.

The British Ministry of Defence said the attacks were in support of Kurdish units in the north-west of the country.

They attacked a “heavy weapon position” and an armed pick-up truck.

The strikes – by two GR4 Tornados – came four days after Parliament approved military action, and were said to be “successful”.

Information from Kurdish sources suggests the RAF strikes had helped the Kurds retake an “important border crossing” at Rabia near Syria, said the BBC’s Clive Myrie in Irbil, northern Iraq.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said both Tornados had “returned safely to their base”, RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

He also said the “RAF jets assisted Kurdish troops under attack”  and said they were in action in support of the Iraqi government.

“On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using their Litening III targeting pod, identified an Isil heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces,” an MoD statement said.

“One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the Isil position.”

“Following this engagement, the 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.”

Earlier, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain would not be “panicked” into dropping bombs in Iraq by reports that militants were advancing.

He said the RAF would carefully target IS, as hitting civilians would have the “opposite of the effect we are intending”.

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