British warplanes struck their first targets in Iraq on Tuesday, four days after Westminster voted for military action to help international efforts against Islamist jihadis there.
However, the return of UK military force to Iraq was a modest one: two GR4 Tornado aircraft interrupted a surveillance flight to support Kurdish peshmerga fighters who were under attack from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, in northeastern Iraq in mid-afternoon.
Using information gained from the Litening III surveillance pods on the aircraft, an Isis heavy weaponry position was identified and attacked with a Paveway laser-guided bomb, according to the Ministry of Defense. An armed pickup truck was also identified and hit with a Brimstone missile.
Since approval was gained for military force on Friday – after weeks of negotiations in Westminster and hours of debate – Tornados flying from the RAF's base in Akrotiri in Cyprus have been on five fully armed sorties to Iraq.