British fighter planes have carried out their first sorties against the ISIS terrorist group in Syria. But in Iraq, the government has a message for Turkish forces who say they are fighting ISIS, as well: Please get out.
The British Ministry of Defense said its Typhoon and Tornado jets had carried out a series of airstrikes on the ISIS-controlled oilfield at Omar, in eastern Syria. The ministry's statement said the jets used Paveway IV guided bombs to hit wellheads as they conducted eight strikes Friday evening.
In an updated statement Saturday, the ministry said Typhoon and Tornado jets based at Akrotiri, a Royal Air Force Base on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus, had carried out more strikes on the "very large" Omar oilfield.
The smart bombs were guided to hit wellheads to cut off ISIS' oil revenue, the ministry statement said.
"Eight attacks were carried out, and early reports suggest that they were successful," the ministry statement said. "Our aircraft then remained on patrol to collect intelligence on possible terrorist positions and be ready to strike any further targets that might be identified in eastern Syria or western Iraq."
Parliament authorized the airstrikes in Syria in a vote Wednesday.
Turkish troops entered 'without authorization'
In Iraq, President Fuad Masum said in a statement that Turkey violated international laws when its military entered the country.
"We call on the Turkish authorities to withdraw its military force from Iraqi territories and not repeating such an incident that hurt the relations between the two neighboring countries," Masum said.
The Turkish forces have been helping train Sunni former Iraqi police officers and Sunni former Iraqi soldiers, who fled the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, to fight ISIS.
In a statement on the Iraqi Prime Minister's Facebook page -- apparently the new method governments use to communicate with each other -- Iraq called on Turkey to withdraw immediately from the Iraqi territory. The statement said the Turkish troops, accompanied by tanks and weaponry, had entered the country without authorization from Iraqi authorities.
But Turkey deploys new troops to northern Iraq
However, there was no sign Turkey plans to comply with the Iraqi directive to leave the country. On the contrary, it deployed about 150 troops to northern Iraq to replace its current unit, Turkish military sources told the country's semi-official Anadolu Agency on Friday.
The troops were sent to Bashiqa town in the Mosul district, the sources told AA on condition of anonymity.
Along with the Turkish troops, 20 to 25 tanks were also dispatched to the area, the sources told The Anadolu Agency.
Turkey denied Saturday that it is expanding its military activities in northern Iraq.
"The camp in Bashiqa, 30 kilometers [about 18 miles] northeast of Mosul, is a training facility established to support local volunteer forces' fight against terrorism," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised speech, denying reports that the deployment was in preparation for a ground operation against ISIS.
Turkish soldiers were sent to the Mosul region 2½ years ago to train Iraqi Peshmerga forces -- Kurdish fighters in the region.