UK's Syria air strikes killed or injured 'seven IS fighters'

Tornado jets Image copyright Nick Ansell
Image caption RAF Tornado jets carried out the first air strikes in Syria in December

Seven fighters from so-called Islamic State have been killed or injured by British air strikes in Syria, the Ministry of Defence estimates.

By the end of January four attacks had resulted in IS casualties, figures released following a Huffington Post freedom of information request showed.

The first UK air strikes in Syria were carried out last December after MPs backed military action against IS.

An MoD spokeswoman said the campaign would "take time and patience".

Christmas day attacks

The MoD has previously said RAF operations against IS in Syria have focused on targeting infrastructure used to support the group, including the oil fields that are a major source of revenue for the militants.

One attack on Christmas day in Raqqa - where IS has its main headquarters - resulted in the death or injury of one militant by a Hellfire missile.

On the same day an RAF Reaper struck an IS checkpoint south of Raqqa with a Hellfire missile, and two more fighters from the group were also hit in Tabqa, also with a Hellfire.

On 11 January two fighters were killed or injured in a Hellfire strike in Al Busayrah, the figures showed, while two more were hit by a Paveway IV guided bomb on 15 January.

A spokeswoman for the MoD said: "We are playing a crucial role in a campaign that will take time and patience.

"Using the right weapon for each scenario, RAF jets have struck Daesh [IS] almost 600 times.

"In Iraq we have helped to drive them out of Sinjar and Ramadi. In Syria, we have severely weakened them by targeting their key infrastructure."

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