Iraq: Britain launches first drone strike against ISIS
A Reaper drone had taken part in a series of coalition missions near Bayji, north of Baghdad.
LONDON - Britain launched its first drone strikes in Iraq against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters at the weekend, the government said on Monday, saying a Hellfire missile had been fired at militants laying improvised explosive devices.
Britain's parliament approved air strikes against IS insurgents in Iraq in September and Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 fighter-bombers have since carried out dozens of combat missions as part of US-led military action in the country.
The Ministry of Defence said a Reaper drone had taken part in a series of coalition missions near Bayji, north of Baghdad, and had also provided intelligence to coalition aircraft to allow them to conduct further strikes.
Britain said last month it was authorising spy planes and armed drones to fly surveillance missions over Syria too, but that drones there would not be allowed to use their weapons for now. Britain hasn't carried out any air strikes in Syria either.
Islamic State swept through northern Iraq in June virtually unopposed by the Iraqi army and declared a caliphate in the parts of Iraq and Syria it controls.
The United States and its allies launched a barrage of attacks against Islamic State over the weekend, conducting 23 air strikes in Syria and 18 in Iraq against the militant group since Friday, US Central Command said.