British warplanes blasted ISIS strongholds in Syria just hours after the country’s parliament voted to give the green light for the Royal Air Force to join the war against the terrorist organization in Syria, according to a report by The Associated Press. Minutes after 4 a.m. in the London — 11 p.m. United States Eastern Time — a British Ministry of Defense official told the news wire that RAF planes had carried out their first round of strikes against Syria.
The official remained anonymous because the ministry had not officially acknowledged the air strikes against ISIS in Syria. The exact targets would be revealed later on Thursday, December 3, the official said, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
After an emotional, 10-hour debate in the British House of Commons, the lower house of Britain’s parliament, the legislative body voted to back Prime Minister David Cameron, who had pushed strongly for the United Kingdom to join the United States and France in their stepped-up bombing campaign against ISIS in the wake of the Paris terror attacks on November 13 that killed 130 people — attacks that have since been linked to the Syria-based so-called “Islamic State.”
The House of Commons voted to green light the new Syria bombing campaign by a margin of 174 votes, with 397 members of parliament voting in favor and 223 opposing the Syria air strikes.
Cameron delivered an impassioned diatribe in support of the RAF bombing raids in the House of Commons debate, branding ISIS a “death cult” of “woman-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters” who are “plotting to kill us and to radicalize our children right now,” adding that British intelligence had already stopped a series of ISIS terror plots planned to strike Britain.
“Since November last year our security services have foiled no less than seven different plots against our people,” Cameron claimed. “So this threat is very real and the question is this: Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”
About one hour after the vote concluded, RAF Tornados — similar to the Tornado warplane pictured at the top of this page — took off from the RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus, returning three hours later after dropping their destructive payloads on ISIS targets in Syria.
— Tom Swarbrick (@TomSwarbrick1) December 3, 2015
British RAF warplanes have been bombing ISIS targets inside Iraq for more than a year, as part of the coalition led by the United States there. But the RAF has intensified its air war there over the past three weeks, since the Paris attacks.
The below video shows an RAF air strike carried out by a Tornado attack plane against an ISIS outpost in Sinjar province in northern Iraq. The air campaign there was designed to pave the way for an offensive against ISIS by Kurdish troops in the region. The Kurdish assault began on November 12, one week after the RAF bombing shown in the video.
But since the Paris terror attacks the following day, Britain has blasted ISIS targets in Iraq on a daily basis, with 13 air strikes in the past week alone.
November 26 was Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., but for ISIS in northern Iraq there wasn’t much to give thanks for, as British aircraft conducted three separate strikes to give air support to Kurdish forces, wiping out a bank of ISIS snipers, another phalanx of machine-gunners who were holding off the Kurdish forces, and a house occupied by ISIS fighters — all with drone strikes.
While the only confirmed British strikes against ISIS came from the Tornado warplanes stationed in Cyprus, RAF Typhoon bombers were reportedly readied for takeoff from bases inside the U.K. as well.
[Featured Photo By Corporal Mike Jones/U.K. Ministry of Defense]