30 September 2014
Last updated at 18:54
RAF jets have attacked a “heavy weapon position” and an armed pick-up truck in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has said.
In the first attacks since Parliament approved military action on Friday, two “precision strikes” were launched and both were “successful”, the MoD said.
The attacks, by two Tornado jets, were part of an international effort against militant group Islamic State (IS).
A US-led coalition of about 40 nations is trying to destroy IS, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.
Kurdish sources said the RAF strikes had helped them retake an “important border crossing” at Rabia near the border with Syria, the BBC’s Clive Myrie tweeted.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said both Tornados had “returned safely to their base”, RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
The MoD said the aircraft were on an “armed reconnaissance mission” when they were asked to help Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq.
It said the Kurds were under attack from IS – also known as Isil and Isis.
“On arriving overhead, the RAF patrol, using their Litening III targeting pod, identified an Isil heavy weapon position which was engaging Kurdish ground forces,” an MoD statement said.
“One Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the Isil position.
“Following this engagement, the patrol identified an Isil armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile.
“An initial assessment indicates that both precision strikes were successful.”
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain would not be “panicked” into dropping bombs in Iraq by reports that militants were advancing.
He said the RAF would carefully target IS, as hitting civilians would have the “opposite of the effect we are intending”.
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