Royal Air Force combat aircraft stand ready to launch strikes against Islamic State in Syria, a Royal Air Force commander has said.

In August last year the United Kingdom started to deploy Tornado GR4 aircraft to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to help coordinate British humanitarian aid airdrops in Northern Iraq with their recon capabilities. On 16 August, following the suspension of humanitarian aid airdrops, these aircraft, along with an RC-135 Rivet Joint, were re-tasked to provide aerial surveillance to coalition forces. In early September, Prime Minister David Cameron began to voice his support for British airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq. On the 26th of September, Parliament was recalled and MP’s debated whether or not to authorise airstrikes in Iraq. This resulted in overwhelming support for airstrikes, with 524 votes in favour and 43 votes against.

When it comes to Syria, the Government lost a Commons vote two years ago to authorise air strikes against the forces of Syrian President Assad, the situation has however changed a great deal in the region since then.

Air Commodore Martin Sampson said:

“We would be doing exactly the same job as we are doing in Iraq in a different piece of air space. The target is the same: Islamic State. We are very well versed in striking them and we would do exactly the same thing in Syria.”

This comes as Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, confirmed he will withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the campaign against Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

As part of his election campaign Mr Trudeau pledged to bring home the CF-18 fighter jets that were deployed to the region until March 2016. He has also said he would keep Canadian military trainers in northern Iraq, the AFP news agency reports.

Air Commodore Sampson’s intervention comes after a senior US commander said he would welcome UK involvement.

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Howie Elliott
6 years ago

just get on with it and wipe out Assad and Isis….

Turner Walker
6 years ago

What is our sorry and sad government waiting for now? Permission off the Americans or Chinese!… Get on with it!!

Martin Andres Guevara Montenegro

Explain me why eeuu is not bombing the terrorist as the rusian air force has done since they has arrive to sirya, please we are talking about U.S.A, and i want yto know WTF Wrong is whit them.

david southern
david southern
6 years ago

Terrorists to some are brave freedom fighters to others:
Russia considers the Ukraine rebels as brave freedom fighters – most of the rest of the word consider them rebels supported by a Russian dictatorship. The Syrian rebels are considered by Russia as terrorists but most of the rest of the world consider them freedom fighters.

Ranjit Singh Gill
6 years ago

what were you guys doing all along….now putin comes in and is doing something and this has lit afire under your ass……….what hippocrates….

Phil Taylor
6 years ago


Also. Britian voted to stay out of Syria militarily. After taking out the last dictator and destabising the country, we’d thought we’d give this one a miss…

david southern
david southern
6 years ago

Putin is bombing the rebel army in Syria and occasionally throwing one at IS to claim they are there to target IS! So Putin is backing Assad’s Government against the rebel army while backing the Ukraine rebel army against their Government. Strange double standards don’t you think! Unfortunately, thousands of people are caught up in this mess; instead of shortening the civil war Putin has now extended the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people.

Max Baker
6 years ago

Didn’t stop British pilots using American jets to bomb targets … also we did our own bombing without the hmg from even knowing

Chez Miller
6 years ago

About time