Britain on Thursday morning launched its first airstrikes just hours after lawmakers approved the mission against the Islamic State jihadists in Syria.

Royal Air Force planes based in Cyprus carried out the “first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes”, a defence ministry spokesman said.

The strikes, carried out by four Tornado fighters, focused on six targets in the oil field in eastern Syria, 30 miles (48 kilometres) from the Syria border, the ministry said.

The first two jets took off around 2330 GMT followed by two more an hour later, each carrying three precision-guided 500lb (226kg) Paveway bombs and returning without them, the BBC reported.

“This strikes a very real blow at the oil and the revenue on which the Daesh terrorists depend,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC, using an alternative name for IS.

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