London: The UK will extend the use of surveillance aircraft in Iraq and Syria until next year, the country's defence secretary announced to mark a year since the exercise was sanctioned by Parliament.
The RAF Sentinel will continue to provide information to British and coalition forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) militants, UK defence secretary Michael Fallon has said.
The UK has been carrying out out surveillance and air-to-air refuelling operations in Syria although the government was defeated in a vote on military action?in the country in 2013.
Fallon said: "The fight against ISIL is our top operational priority and Britain is playing a vital role."
"Our armed forces have conducted more than 300 strikes, flown almost a third of all coalition surveillance flights and trained over 2,000 local troops. Now we must build on this progress. We will not let up until we have defeated this barbaric terrorist organisation," Fallon said.
Iraqi forces have taken back 200 square kilometres in the north, recaptured Tikrit in the centre and pushed IS militants out of Diyala province in the east, the ministry of defence (MoD) said.
The government has been carrying out air strikes in Iraq since September 30, 2014.
The MoD said the UK, working with coalition forces, had helped the Iraqi military regain 25 per cent of territory that IS militants held after their advance last year.