British fighter jets engage ISIL

British Parliament voted to engage in airstrikes against ISIL on Friday September 26 resulting in British fighter jets currently (September 27) deployed over Northern Iraq on their first mission.

Two Tornado GR4 fighter jets took off from the RAF Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus at 0830hrs GMT this morning (September 27). The fighters are being supported by a Voyager refuelling aircraft to ensure a maximum airstrike operation.

The fighter jets are equipped with Paveway and Brimstone missiles and have a clear command to deploy them should they encounter any ISIL militants.

Details of the air operation remain unknown, the Tornados will be flying over Iraq in a tasking from the United States Central Command.

It is believed that the dynamic air support mission aim is to identify militants should they present, target, destroy and neutralize the threat they pose.

A MOD spokesman said: “We can confirm that following Parliamentary approval given yesterday, Royal Air Force Tornados continue to fly over Iraq and are now ready to be used in an attack role as and when appropriate targets are identified.

“For operational security reasons we will not be providing a running commentary on movements; we will provide an update on activity when it is appropriate to do so.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We are one part of a large international coalition. But the crucial part of that coalition is that it is led by the Iraqi government, the legitimate government of Iraq, and its security forces.

“We are there to play our part and help deal with this appalling terrorist organisation.”

The planes have been at RAF Akrotiri for the past six weeks carrying out surveillance missions over the Middle East.

Story develops …

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