Britain's jets set for Iraq air strikes take-off

 British warplanes are all set to launch missile attacks against Islamic State (IS) after the country's Parliament backed military action in Iraq.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 27, 2014, 20:02 PM IST

London: British warplanes are all set to launch missile attacks against Islamic State (IS) after the country's Parliament backed military action in Iraq.

Six Tornado G4 fighters have been based in Cyprus since August but so far have been used only for reconnaissance.

The bombers are expected to lead any British operations targeting IS.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK was there to "play our part and to help deal with this appalling terrorist organisation".

Yesterday, MPs from all three main Westminster parties voted for military action by 524 votes to 43.

Britain has stopped short of extending its support to operations in Syria.

As well as the Tornados at the British Akrotiri base in Cyprus, the RAF also has a Rivet Joint spy plane - successor to the Nimrod ? in the region.

UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond said Britain was consulting with its allies to choose targets.

He said he expected little resistance from the ground.

The planes and their crews from RAF Marham, Norfolk, have spent six weeks flying reconnaissance missions over northern Iraq.

They were braced to begin strike runs with Paveway IV guided bombs and Brimstone missiles.

Military sources told 'The Telegraph' that defence chiefs were also considering launching Tomahawk cruise missiles from a Royal Navy submarine in the region.

The British jets would join an American-led coalition which has been pounding IS fighters in Syria and Iraq for days, trying to weaken the movement's grip on northern Iraq so the extremists can be beaten back by Kurdish and Iraqi troops.