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Michael Fallon visits RAF Akrotiri as air campaign against Islamic State continues

The Defence Secretary speaks to RAF personnel at the base. Credit: ITV News

Defence secretary Michael Fallon has visited British forces at RAF Akrotiri warning their mission against the so called Islamic State will not be short or simple.

His visit came as it was confirmed a second set of strikes on oilfields to the East had taken place overnight.

Addressing air and ground crew responsible for carrying out raids in Iraq and Syria he warned that plots to cause "murder and mayhem" had already been thwarted and their work was necessary to protect the British public.

Mr Fallon said:

They are a new kind of enemy. We cannot negotiate with them. It is not because of what we do but who we are that we face this death cult.

This campaign is not going to be short or simple. They don't want to negotiate and they don't ask for anything.

We will hit them harder. We are asking you to hit their command and control centres, their sources of revenue.

– Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon spoke with soldiers during his visit Credit: Crown copyright 2015

The defence secretary personally authorises strikes using imagery and intelligence reports.

Speaking with aircrew he was told of the joint operation underway at the base as MPs voted.

One was to Iraq in case of a no, the other was to Syria. As the vote came in the four crew boarded the Tornados and took off across the Syrian border.

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