RAF planes are ‘invaluable’ to fight in Iraq but have yet to engage ISIS

RAF playing ‘invaluable role’ but yet to pound extremists
Two RAF Tornado GR4s fly during their first combat mission flown out of Akrotiri, Cyprus (Picture: Reuters)

British warplanes are playing an invaluable role in the battle against Islamic State despite having yet to identify any targets in Iraq, defence officials insisted.

Two RAF Tornado GR4 fighter bombers flew three missions at the weekend but returned to base in Cyprus without finding anything to hit.

MPs approved their use in Iraq – but not Syria – on Friday, paving the way for RAF forces to join the US-led coalition against IS.

Coalition forces hit a number of IS targets in Syria, including an oil refinery near the border with Turkey.

The raid on the Tel Abyad site was part of efforts aimed at damaging the extremists’ estimated £1.8million-a-day income.

The US also carried out strikes against al- Qaeda group Khorasan near Aleppo.

David Cameron has hinted Britain could become involved in strikes in Syria but said the RAF’s involvement was one part of a wider, multinational strategy.

The prime minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Our strategy here is not some simplistic “drop a bomb from 40,000 feet” and think you can solve the problem.

However, critics fear the raids could encourage extremism.

Lindsey German, from Stop The War coalition, said: ‘The government has begun Iraq War III before we’ve even been allowed to see the Chilcot report into Iraq War II.’

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28 September 2014 | 10:02 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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