Several news sources have reported over the weekend that RAF Tornados bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq are to be armed with air-to-air missiles to protect them from attack and that RAF pilots have been cleared to fire on hostile Russian jets. The Sunday Times features a similar story and quotes a military source who is alleged to have said “up until now there has been no or little air-to-air threat, but the situation has changed and we need to respond accordingly”.
An MOD spokesperson said:
“There is no truth in this story.”
Russia had summoned Britain’s defence attache in Moscow to explain reports that RAF pilots had been authorised to shoot down Russian aircraft in the Middle East, the Foreign Office says.
The Foreign Office said the reports, over the weekend, had been inaccurate.