1. ITV Report

Cameron: Airstrikes will help bring about political deal in Syria

An RAF Typhoon plane taxis on the runway after landing at RAF Akrotiri in southern Cyprus Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted UK airstrikes will help to bring about a political settlement in Syria as RAF Tornados carried out further missions targeting IS in Syria overnight.

Two British Tornados from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus flew an armed reconnaissance patrol over eastern Syria, gathering intelligence on terrorist activity.

A second pair of Tornados patrolled over western Iraq, where they provided close air support to Iraqi forces engaged in combat with IS in and around Ramadi.

After that RAF Typhoons carried out their first missions during the fight against so-called Islamic State.

During the mission across Iraq, a terrorist sniper team opened fire on Iraq forces from a compound but was silenced by a direct hit from a Paveway IV guided bomb, the MoD said.

Mr Cameron said: "Bringing everyone around the table and trying to get a political settlement is absolutely crucial but we can't wait for that to happen before we start taking action against Daesh (IS) as we have after the vote and as we will continue to do.

"The strikes actually help to bring about a political settlement because the strikes take the action to Daesh (IS) which is everyone's enemy, and we do need to have a moderate opposition in Syria that can be part of the future government.

"So the political process and the action against Daesh (IS) to keep us safe at home go hand in hand."

The Free Syrian Army has claimed British intervention is "just a few more jets" over the course of a long campaign.

Meanwhile Syrian president Bashar Assad's regime has denounced the mission as "noise and propaganda", claiming that any country that does not co-ordinate its attacks with the government "won't win the fight against terrorism".

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