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BRITISH bombers are preparing to take the fight to Islamic State deep inside the ‘caliphate’ in Syria next year, in a significant shift in focus that could decisively tip the balance of the war against the jihadi group.
RAF jets have spent recent months concentrating on ISIS’ Iraqi strongholds, including Mosul in the north of the country where government troops are close to victory.
But military planners hope the Mosul offensive is entering its final weeks and the new focus of Britain’s involvement in the anti-ISIS coalition is expected to change in the new year.
Increased activity in the skies above Syria comes with increased risks as it will see RAF bombers come head-to-head with Russian jets.
But military chefs have concluded they will need to set up better communication channels with Moscow in order to prevent accidents in the fog of war.
Raqqa - the Islamist group’s de facto capital in the Middle East - is likely to be at the centre of any bombing campaign to rid Syria of the jihadis.
2016.12.26 / 23:24