UK launches air strikes on ISIL targets in Syria

British jets carry out air raids just hours after parliament passes motion authorising use of force against group.

    Warplanes struck ISIL just hours after parliament approved Cameron's motion [File:RAF/EPA]
    Warplanes struck ISIL just hours after parliament approved Cameron's motion [File:RAF/EPA]

    British fighter planes have struck suspected ISIL targets in Syria, just hours after MPs approved a motion authorising the use of military force against the group. 

    A British Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed to Al Jazeera that Tornado jets had returned to base after conducting combat missions against the group on Thursday.

    In a statement released later on Thursday, the ministry said the raids were conducted in coordination with aircraft from allied states, striking ISIL oil interests,

    The jets "employed Paveway IV guided bombs to conduct strikes against six targets within the extensive oilfield at Omar, 35 miles (56km) inside Syria’s eastern border with Iraq," the statement said.

    OPINION: 7/7 Survivor: Why we should not bomb Syria

    The strikes come just hours after UK Prime Minister David Cameron successfully passed a motion authorising strikes in Syria, with 397 MPs voting in favour, and 223 voting against. 

    Cameron was backed by dozens of Labour MPs who broke ranks with leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is opposed to the military intervention.

    Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Cameron said high-precision, laser-guided Brimstone missiles attached to the Tornado GR4 bombers would help to make a real difference by hitting the ISIL capital of Raqqa and its oil-trading business.

    France and the US are already bombing the fighters in Syria, while Russia has bombed mainly other armed groups battling the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Cyprus, which lies about 100km away from Syria, is the closest European Union member state to turmoil in the Middle East.

    UK parliament votes to launch air strikes in Syria

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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