Britain launches air strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq

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Britain launches air strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq

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British Royal Air Force, (RAF), jets have made their first air strikes on two strategic positions in Iraq.

The UK is the latest nation to join an international effort to destroy the self-proclaimed Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIL.

Two Tornado jets were on an “armed reconnaissance mission” when they responded to a call from Kurdish troops for assistance in north-west Iraq, the Ministry of Defence, (MoD), said.

Kurdish sources reportedly said the RAF strikes were integral to retaking “an important border crossing” at Rabia, near the border with Syria.

“They identified and attacked a heavy weapons position that was endangering Kurdish forces and they subsequently attacked an (ISIL) armed pick-up truck in the same area,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the British media.

Both attacks were said to be successful.

British MPs voted in favour of air strikes against militants in Iraq on Friday (September 26).

The UK’s first bombing in Iraq since the 2003 invasion of the country came on the eve of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference.

While some are sceptical about the effectiveness of air strikes, Cameron says it is one of a number of ways to destroy ISIL.

Most important, he said, is the need for more effective and better-trained Iraqi troops, as well as better-armed Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.