British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says British warplanes launched airstrikes against fighters from the Islamic State group in Iraq for the first time.

The strikes Tuesday mark Britain's entry into the U.S.-led international air campaign aiming to crush the group, which has overrun large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Fallon says two Tornado jets struck a heavy weapons post and a vehicle mounted with a machine gun being used by the extremists who were attacking Kurdish fighters in northwestern Iraq.

The United States started airstrikes against the group in Iraq last month. Last week, it and allied Arab nations launched strikes in neighboring Syria.