Britain bombs oilfield in second Syria bombing

The bombing campaign is attempting to cut off the militant group's financial supply

British RAF jets have targeted a large oilfield during their second combat mission in Syria, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Typhoons were used for the first time since Britain launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the country.

The jets, alongside Tornados, struck the IS-controlled Omar oilfield in eastern Syria on Friday night in an effort to cut off the militant group's financial supply.

It is the same oilfield targeted by the RAF in the first combat mission in Syria, conducted within hours of MPs giving approval for the strikes.

Eight attacks were carried out in the latest mission and first reports suggest they were successful, the MoD said.

At the same time, an unmanned Reaper drone destroyed an IS truck-bomb with a Hellfire missile south of Sinjar in Iraq.

The jets took off from Britain's base in Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, where Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has been visiting troops.
Speaking to Sky News from the base, he described the mission as an "impressive achievement".

"Last night we had the Tornados in action, the Typhoons in action and our unmanned Reapers in action - all of them striking ISIL Daesh (IS) where it hurts," he said.

Mr Fallon said there were no reports of civilian casualties following the strikes.

"These targets are very carefully selected to minimise any risk to civilians or collateral damage," he said.

The aircraft remained on patrol over the east of Syria and western Iraq "to collect intelligence on possible terrorist positions and be ready to strike any further targets", the MoD said.

The Free Syrian Army opposition group has claimed Britain's intervention is "just a few more jets" which "will not make a big difference".

But Mr Fallon insisted the strikes would help destroy IS and that the "full force of the RAF" was now being used to "deal with this death cult".

"Airstrikes can make a difference in starting to squeeze ISIL/Daesh back into its heartland, reduce its ability to resupply and reinforce over in Iraq and to cut off its sources of revenue," he said.

"They've been making a lot of money out of oil ... and their revenue helps to finance their terrorism in Western Europe and is a threat to us in Britain." 

Mr Fallon said a timescale had not been set for Britain's airstrikes in Syria.

He added: "But there is now a political process alongside the military operation which will lead to, we hope, a new settlement in Syria, a new type of government that will eventually be able to put its own forces into the fight against ISIL/Daesh as the civil war ends."