The Parliament of the United Kingdom has voted to commence military strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq today, by 524 votes to 43 votes. The Royal Air Force’s six Tornado fighter-bomber aircraft presently stationed in Cyrpus will now be armed in preparation to commence strikes over the weekend.
The aircraft, which up until now have been engaged in reconnaissance flights over Iraq in cooperation with other allied states will now move onto a war-footing and armed with Brimstone high explosive, anti-tank missiles and precision laser-guided bombs.
The defence secretary has warned that “we should not expect a shock and awe campaign” and the strikes will not begin until the RAF planes are tasked targets by the United States, who are leading the mission. Although strikes could come as early as Friday evening, it is possible they may not begin until later in the weekend or even into next week.
The United States Air Force has already made around 200 strikes on ISIS in Iraq, with the blessing of the Democratically elected Iraqi government. Britain was invited to join the attacks by Iraq at the United Nations earlier this week, which led to the recall of government which allowed today’s parlimentary vote.