AKROTIRI, Cyprus — British Tornado and Typhoon aircraft stationed at a U.K. air base in Cyprus are pounding Islamic State targets ahead of a major offensive by Iraqi security forces next month to recapture the key northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants, a senior Royal Air Force officer says.

Air Commodore Sammy Sampson said Iraqi forces are confident they can retake the country’s second-largest city from the Islamic State group, also know as ISIS or ISIL, and that British warplanes will provide the needed support to get the job done.

“We’ll stand by them. We’ll support them. We will make it do-able for them,” Sampson told reporters Thursday on a guided tour of the RAF Akrotiri base’s operations.

Mosul is the extremist group’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq.


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