RAF in Iraq air strike against IS
RAF fighter bombers have taken part in a major coalition air strike against an Islamic State bunker complex in northern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Warplanes from seven nations took part in a "comprehensive and closely co-ordinated" attack on the target around 20 miles north west of the city of Kirkuk.
The site - described as a "well concealed network of fighting positions and underground facilities" - had been under surveillance after IS fighters withdrew to the area in the face of advances by Kurdish peshmerga forces.
RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft, carrying Paveway IV precision guided bombs, formed the UK element of the strike force.
The involvement of aircraft from so many coalition countries was said to be a reflection of the significance of the target as well as the obstacle it posed to further peshmerga advances.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "RAF missions continue to play a crucial role in support of Iraqi ground operations.
"This morning's strike will have dealt a blow to the Isil network in a key location, thus limiting their ability to pursue their brutality against the civilian population of Iraq.
"This is further evidence of the UK's significant role within the coalition, and is one strand of a measured approach to degrading Isil by an air campaign while also supporting the Iraqi forces through training and development."