Britain releases images of strikes against ISIS
The British air strikes reportedly targeted a heavy weapons position that was endangering Kurdish forces
British fighter jets carried out a second raid of air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets west of Baghdad overnight, the Ministry of Defense said Wednesday, in their second day of strikes in Iraq, Agence France-Presse reported.
Two Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornados based in Cyprus fired four Brimstone missiles on two ISIS vehicles, including an armed pick-up truck, the ministry said in a statement.
“Two Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri conducted an armed reconnaissance mission in support of Iraqi government forces west of Baghdad,” it said.
“They were tasked to examine a location suspected of being used as an ISIL (ISIS) command and control position.
“At the scene they were able to identify ISIL activity and two vehicles, one of which was an armed pick up truck.
“Four Brimstone missiles were used to conduct a precision attack on the vehicles. Initial analysis indicates that the strikes were successful.”
British fighter planes on had launched their first airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions in Iraq on Tuesday, targeting a weapon position and armed truck.
“Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have been in action over Iraq today in the fight against ISIL,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This action is part of the international coalition’s operations to support the democratic Iraqi government,” the statement added.
The British parliament last week approved a motion to join in a U.S.-led military campaign against IS jihadists who have seized huge swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months.
The strikes signal the start of Britain's latest military engagement in Iraq after it pulled out all its troops in 2011 following an eight-year conflict, according to Associated Press.
Government minister Iain Duncan Smith on Tuesday revealed that both coalition government partners were also in favor of action against ISIS fighters in Syria, but that it was blocked by the opposition Labor party.
"When we do release our weapons we have to be absolutely sure that they are against ISIL targets, that they are not going to kill innocent Sunni Muslim civilians in areas that are occupied by ISIL,” British foreign minister Philip Hammond told the BBC.
“Otherwise we are having the opposite of the effect we are intending to have,” he said.
Asked about France joining the U.S.-led coalition before Britain did, he said: “There is nobody who knows anything about air power who is suggesting that the French air force is a more formidable force than the RAF.”
France has already carried out two rounds of air strikes.
[With Associated Press]