London: Joining war against ISIS British fighter jets on Thursday carried out their first bombing raids against the terrorist outfit in Syria. The move came hours after UK lawmakers voted in favour of bombing Islamic State strongholds.
“RAF Tornadoes have just returned from their first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes,” a spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) said early Thursday.
The four jets took off from Akrotiri air base in Cyprus, targeting an oil field in Eastern Syria, the MOD told CNN. More details on the operation are expected from the ministry later today. Lawmakers voted 397 in favor of action and 223 against, following a 10-hour debate.
After the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, France asked the U.S.-led coalition to bump up the military offensive against ISIS. Now that Britain has decided to expand airstrikes that it previously conducted only in Iraq, the spotlight is on the German Parliament, which also is expected to approve greater military commitment against the terror group.
The German plan would activate 1,200 troops in anti-ISIS efforts, but in a support role — not direct combat. U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the British move and said the coalition would work “to integrate them into our coalition air tasking orders as quickly as possible.”