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Britain launches first airstrikes against IS in Syria

London: Royal Air Force Tornado jets on Thursday carried out their first air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, hours after MPs voted in favour of British air strikes in Syria.

The MPs backed the action by 397 votes to 223 after a 10-hour debate in the House of Commons, BBC reported.

Four Tornado jets took off from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, shortly after the vote late Wednesday night.

The Air Force started the air strikes following the approval from British parlaiment with an astounding 397-223 vote
Also Read: British Parliament authorises airstrikes against ISIS amid anti-war protests

Royal Air Force fighter jets were already operating against IS in neighbouring Iraq from a base in Cyprus – flew over Syria within hours of announcement.

Opponents argued that Britain’s entry into Syria’s crowded airspace would make little difference, and said Cameron’s military plan was based on wishful thinking that overlooked the messy reality of the Syrian civil war.

Cameron has long wanted to target IS in Syria, but had been unsure of getting majority support in the House of Commons until now. He suffered an embarrassing defeat in 2013 when lawmakers rejected a motion backing attacks on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The mood has changed following the November 13 Paris attacks, claimed by IS, that killed 130 people. Both France and the US have urged Britain to join their air campaign in Syria, and Cameron said Britain should not let its allies down.

(with IANS inputs)