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RAF captain 'absolutely confident' there will be no civilian casualties

An RAF captain has said he is "absolutely confident" there will be no civilian casualties as air strikes were launched over Syria.

Captain Richard Davies, of RAF Marham in Norfolk said: "In over 400 air strikes that the RAF has carried out in Iraq, we have had absolutely no civilian casualties reported.

The rules of engagement that our crews apply both in the air and by the commanders on the ground mean that I am absolutely confident that that will continue to be the case with operations in Syria."

Tornado fighter bombers have been attacking IS targets in Iraq since September last year when MPs gave the green light for air strikes.

Captain Davies's comments follow a warning by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the lead-up to last night's vote that the move would "almost inevitably lead to the deaths of innocents".

RAF Tornado jets hit targets in Syria

The MOD has confirmed its Tornado jets have launched their first bombing raids in Syria.

A Ministry Of Defence spokesman confirmed RAF Tornados had returned from their "first offensive operation over Syria and have conducted strikes".

Two more jets from RAF Marham in Norfolk have joined the action this morning.

See RAF video of Tornado jets leaving Cyprus on bombing mission:

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More jets leave RAF Marham for Cyprus.

Credit: PA

Two more Tornado jets have left RAF Marham this morning for Cyprus.

They'll join those from the base already at RAF Akrotiri.

Tornado fighter bombers have been attacking IS targets in Iraq since September last year when MPs gave the green light for air strikes last night.

An oilfield in eastern Syria was the target of overnight RAF airstrikes, the Defence Secretary, has confirmed.

Fighter jets from the East involved in fresh strikes against Islamic State

Fighter jets from the East of England have been involved in fresh airstrikes against Islamic State militants, in wake of the Paris terror attacks.

The Ministry of Defence said Tornado fighters from RAF Marham yesterday dropped a bomb killing a group of more than 30 militants who had opened fire on Kurds in northern Iraq.

The RAF jets also destroyed mortar positions and a hit a terrorist vehicle with a Hellfire missile.

Fighter planes from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall have also been involved in strikes in Syria since the Paris attacks.

Fighter jets from the East have been involved in fresh strikes against Islamic State militants. Credit: ITV Anglia

"The first flight used a Paveway bomb to destroy a mortar position which had opened fire on the Kurds. The following mission destroyed a heavy machine gun near Mosul with a Paveway IV, then proceeded west towards Sinjar.

"There was heavy cloud, which may have encouraged the terrorists to assume that they were safe from air attack, but, working very closely with the Kurdish forces, the GR4s were able to guide a Paveway on to a large group of over 30 Daesh terrorists who were massing for a counter-attack; the Kurdish unit subsequently reported that the air strike had been highly effective.

"The Tornado patrol then destroyed another Isil mortar position south-west of Sinjar."

– Ministry of Defence statement

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Future of airbase in doubt

A Tornado from RAF Marham Credit: PA

The future of the RAF base at Marham in Norfolk will be raised in Parliament today. Tornado warplanes are currently stationed there but they are due to be replaced by a new aircraft called the Joint Strike Fighter.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss is due to ask the Defence Secretary today for a commitment that Marham will remain open once the Tornado fleet is taken out of service and that the new JSF will be stationed there.

Questions raised over future of RAF base

The future of the RAF base at Marham in Norfolk is being raised in Parliament.

Tornado warplanes are currently stationed there but they are due to be replaced by a new aircraft called the Joint Strike Fighter.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss is due to ask the Defence Secretary today for a commitment that Marham will remain open once the Tornado fleet is taken out of service and that the new JSF will be stationed there