The UK's first air strikes against Islamic State (also known as ISIL, ISIS and Daesh) were launched on Thursday, just hours after Parliament approved military action in Syria.

UK launches strikes against ISIS

UK launches strikes against ISIS

After a heated 10-hour Commons debate on Wednesday night, MPs overwhelmingly backed UK military intervention by 397 votes to 223. A total of 66 Labour MPs - 29% of the parliamentary party - sided with the government as it secured a larger than expected Commons majority.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, RAF Tornados - supported by a Voyager air refuelling tanker, an unmanned Reaper drone and other coalition aircraft - "successfully" attacked six targets, including an IS-controlled oilfield, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

"Carefully selected elements of the oilfield infrastructure were targeted, ensuring the strikes will have a significant impact on Daesh's ability to extract the oil to fund their terrorism," said a statement by the MoD.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that he had personally approved the targets ahead of the Commons vote, and that the aim was to strike "a very real blow on the oil and revenue on which Daesh depends".

A White House spokesman welcomed Parliament's approval of military action in Syria, saying "we congratulate the UK on the strikes overnight".

In the aftermath of the first RAF Tornado strikes, cabinet ministers warned that it may take as long as two years to destroy Islamic State, saying it will require patience and persistence.

"We are going to need to be patient and persistent. This is going to take time. It is complex, it is difficult what we are asking our pilots to do, and our thoughts should be with them and their families," David Cameron said.