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Britain launches airstrikes on IS in Syria

Published:Thursday | December 3, 2015 | 10:26 AM
A British tornado warplane taxies on the ground at the RAF Akrotiri, a British air base near the costal city of Limassol, Cyprus, yesterday, after landing from an airstrike target in Syria.


British warplanes carried out airstrikes in Syria early Wednesday, hours after Parliament voted to authorise air attacks against Islamic State (IS) group targets there.

Four Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornados took off from a British air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, shortly after the 397-223 vote by lawmakers in the House of Commons.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman told the Associated Press that the planes had conducted strikes in Syria, and details about their targets would be provided later.

He spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with British policy for government spokespeople.

The RAF has been launching strikes against IS targets in Iraq since 2014. The decision to expand the campaign to Syria came after an emotional 101/2-hour debate in which Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain must strike the militants in their heartland and not "sit back and wait for them to attack us".