The U.S.-led military fight against the Islamic State escalated on Dec. 2 as British Tornado jets struck oil fields in eastern Syria, and Germany prepared to send reconnaissance aircraft to the Middle East.
The targeted Omar oil field is used to finance the Islamic State terrorist group, AP reports. Several of the oil fields have been hit by the U.S.-led coalition recently.
Britain’s Parliament had authorized military action in Syria against the terrorist group just hours before the attack.
"This strikes a very real blow at the oil and the revenue on which the Daesh terrorists depend," British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said, using the Arabic acronym for IS, BBC reports.
The four Tornados were deployed from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the campaign against the Islamic State would take time, and that “we’re going to need to be patient and persistent.”
"It is complex and it is difficult what we are asking our pilots to do, and our thoughts should be with them and their families as they commence this important work," Cameron said.
Eight more jets, two Tornados and six Typhoons, will be sent by Britain to join the sight existing jets at the Akrotiri base.
Britain joins the military fight against the Islamic State just as Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for “one powerful fist” in the global fight against the terrorist group.
“We must leave all arguments and disagreements behind and make one powerful fist, a single anti-terror front, which would work on the basis of international law under the aegis of the United Nations,” Putin said.
The allied fight against the Islamic State will grow in the coming month as Germany plans to send up to six Tornado reconnaissance planes, tanker aircraft, and a frigate to help protect French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean. They are not expected to engage actively in combat.
Up to 1,200 German soldiers will be deployed to help the international coalition.
"The goal ... is to fight and contain IS, and destroy their safe havens and their ability to lead worldwide terror operations," German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.