British warplanes have carried out their first attacks on Islamic State positions, supporting a Kurdish counter-offensive in northwestern Iraq.

The Ministry of Defense said two Tornado jets struck a “heavy weapon position” and an armed pick-up truck in “successful” missions.

The attacks came as Kurdish forces retook a crossing at Rabia on the Iraq-Syria border.

The Ministry of Defense said the jets were on an “armed reconnaissance mission” when they were asked to give support. They hit the heavy position, which was fighting Kurdish ground forces and then identified the armed pick-up truck.

Kurdish forces say they also struck Zumar as they pushed back Islamic State advances from early August. They are now moving towards Sinjar, whose capture by the jihadists — with the resulting flight of 10,000s of Yazidis and a growing threat to Iraqi Kurdistan — sparked US intervention on behalf of the Kurds.

The British Parliament approved the Cameron Government’s request for aerial intervention last Friday. British jets have carried out surveillance missions since Saturday.