British bombers made their first strikes on Syria on Thursday, just hours after Britain's parliament voted to target Islamic State targets in Syria, a government source told media on Thursday.
Tornado bombers took off from the RAF Akrotiri air base in Cyprus and made strikes on targets in Syria, the source said. The bombers were back at base, Reuters reported.
"A strike was made from over Syria," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and declined to give more information about the targets or number of aircraft involved.
A Reuters witness in Cyprus saw four jets leaving in pairs from the air base within an hour of each other. All four had since returned.
However, The Guardian reported that four Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado jets from the Akrotiri base carried a range of munitions including Paveway IV guided bombs and precision-guided Brimstone missiles. The strikes focused on six targets in an oil field under IS control in eastern Syria.
RAF Akrotiri has been used as a launchpad for attacks on Islamic State targets in Iraq for just over a year, and late on Wednesday Britain's parliament broadened its scope for targets within Syria.
After more than 10 hours of tense debate, members of the UK Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of the air strikes by 397 to 223. A total of 66 opposition Labour Party MPs voted in favour with the government.
Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron said high-precision, laser-guided Brimstone missiles attached to the Tornado GR4 bombers would help to make a real difference by hitting the de facto Islamic State capital of Raqqa and its oil-trading business.
France and the United States are already bombing Islamist militants in Syria, while Russia has bombed mainly other rebels, according to conflict monitors and Western officials, in an intervention launched on Sept. 30 to bolster its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The West says Assad must go.
Cyprus, 100 km (60 miles) from Syria, is the closest European Union member state to the turmoil in the Middle East.