UK bombs IS in Syria after MPs vote in favour
Radio New Zealand International
December 3, 2015 4:40 pm
RAF Tornado jets have carried out their first air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
The strikes came just hours after MPs voted in favour of UK air strikes in Syria.
MPs voted by 397 to 223 in favour of launching air strikes after more than 10 hours of debate.
Four Tornado jets took off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus shortly after the vote.
Two of the four Tornados landed back in Cyprus just over three hours later.
The BBC said they had left RAF Akrotiri with three 500lb Paveway bombs each and returned to base without those weapons.
The Ministry of Defence was expected to give details of their targets later on Thursday,
A total of 66 Labour MPs sided with the government as Mr Cameron secured a larger than expected Commons majority.
The UK has been bombing in Iraq for more than a year and British Prime Minister David Cameron had urged MPs to back extending air strikes to Syria to target militants he said were plotting attacks on the West.
Though a number of Mr Cameron’s Conservative Party MPs opposed the move, he had been expected to win, helped by votes of some Labour MPs, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party).
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had abandoned attempts to impose his opposition to military action on Labour and allowed his MPs a free vote.
The UK will join others such as France, the US and Russia in bombing targets in Syria.