UK

RAF jets destroy IS rocket launcher in Iraq

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Media captionThe MoD says its footage shows a direct hit on the rocket launcher

RAF aircraft have destroyed an Islamic State (IS) rocket launcher in the latest of a series of air strikes against the militant group in Iraq.

Two GR4 Tornado jets had been offering air support to the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq when the troops reported coming under fire by IS north of Mosul.

On Wednesday RAF forces destroyed the IS rocket launcher that fired at the troops, the Ministry of Defence said.

RAF forces have carried out air strikes against IS in Iraq since September.

'Direct hit'

The military action began after MPs voted for the RAF to join a coalition of countries carrying out air strikes against the militant group in the country.

However, earlier this month a committee of MPs said the UK's role in fighting IS had been "strikingly modest" and should be stepped up.

An MoD statement said: "The Kurds reported coming under rocket fire, and after an intensive search the GR4s were able to locate an IS truck-mounted rocket launcher, and attacked it, scoring a direct hit with a brimstone missile."

About 40 nations have joined forces to target IS, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

Countries including the US have taken part in air strikes against IS positions in Syria, but the UK military effort has so far been confined to Iraq.

The RAF has been providing air support to the Peshmerga, which is also receiving infantry training from a team of coalition instructors, including British military personnel.

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