Britain launched its first drone strike in Iraq against Islamic State (IS) fighters at the weekend, the government said on Monday, saying a Hellfire missile had been fired at militants laying improvised explosive devices.

Britain’s parliament approved air strikes against IS insurgents in Iraq in September and Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 fighter-bombers have since carried out dozens of combat missions as part of U.S.-led military action in the country.

The Ministry of Defence said a Reaper drone had taken part in a series of coalition missions near Bayji, north of Baghdad, and had also provided intelligence to coalition aircraft to allow them to conduct further strikes. […]