A small number of aircraft, fitted with state-of-the-art Litening III reconnaissance pods, were dispatched to Cyprus as part of a mission to deliver aid to Iraq, the British ministry of defence said on Tuesday.
“Thousands of innocent people suffering in northern Iraq urgently need our help.” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.
“Tornado aircraft will be able to play a specialist surveillance role to give us a more complete picture of the situation in the crisis area.”
The Tornado aircraft will be stationed at RAF Acrotiri, available to fly over the crisis area at short notice to provide vital intelligence to assist the delivery of the UK aid.
So far, three consignments of aid, provided by the Department for International Development, have been delivered to the area by the RAF using Hercules aircraft, the MoD said.
The humanitarian aid drops by RAF C130 aircraft, which took place early on Tuesday morning, included nearly 9,000 5-litre water bottles and 816 solar lanterns.