British Bombers Conduct First Air Strikes on Syria

LONDON (Reuters) -
RAF personnel work on a British Tornado after it returned from a mission at RAF Akrotiri in southern Cyprus December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Staples TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
RAF personnel work on a British Tornado after it returned from a mission at RAF Akrotiri in southern Cyprus, Thursday. (Reuters/Darren Staples)

British Tornado bombers conducted their first air strikes on Syria just hours after Parliament approved Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to strike at Islamic State terrorists in Syria, a government source said on Thursday.

“A strike was made on Syria,” said the government source. The Tornado bombers have returned to base, the source said.

Britain has sent eight more warplanes to its base in Cyprus to join air strike missions against Islamic State in Syria, Defense Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday.

“Today we are doubling our strike force. The additional eight aircraft being sent to [RAF air base] Akrotiri are now in the air and on their way,” he told BBC Radio.

The additional planes were six Typhoon fighters and two Tornados, he said.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Russia welcomes any actions aimed at fighting Islamic State.

“We continue to welcome any actions aimed at combating terrorism, at the fight against Islamic State,” Peskov told journalists during a conference call.

“Of course, we believe that the efficiency [of such actions] could be significantly improved when such actions are coordinated, with all acting within a united coalition.”