UK extends Iraqi air campaign against Islamic State until March 2017

Britain will extend its air campaign in Iraq against Islamic State militants by a year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Tuesday, saying it would use ageing Tornado fighter jets to conduct strikes until at least early 2017. Britain had previously said the Tornados would stay operational until March 2016, a year later than originally intended, and would then

be finally taken out of service. But Fallon, on a visit to Iraq, said the Cyprus-based planes had capabilities which meant they should fly longer. “The Tornado squadrons have proved their worth in the air campaign because of the precision weapons they have and because of the reconnaissance and surveillance that they carry out when they’re not striking,” Fallon told BBC radio. “The Americans and other allies have particularly valued the contribution of the Tornado and that’s why we are continuing the Tornado squadron for another year.”



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