Military action against Syria could spark a major news event in the United Kingdom, with the Army’s move to seize a Syrian air base and use it as a launch pad for a major strike on Syria’s capital.
A large number of media outlets have reported on the news, including the BBC, the Daily Mail, the Washington Post and the Guardian, as the UK Army launched its largest military operation since the conflict began.
The move is likely to prompt major media coverage, with a large number, including many British outlets, using it as an example of what the military can do.
Military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has already been under way since the start of the conflict.
The UK has the largest number of troops in the world at 2,500.
“We are using this base to launch a major offensive on the Syrian capital, the heart of the Assad regime’s power base,” a senior military source told the BBC.
“It will be the biggest operation of its kind since the end of the Second World War.”
The source added that the military had already carried out “many large operations” in the past, such as in Libya and Afghanistan.
The Syrian government and Russia are currently engaged in a prolonged military conflict that has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than a million people.
The Russian defence ministry on Tuesday confirmed that it had launched an air raid on a Syrian military airbase in the northern province of Idlib, where the Russian-backed rebels are fighting to oust Assad.
Russia has also been accused of launching air raids on rebel positions in the province of Latakia, where Assad’s forces are also engaged in the civil war.
The defence ministry did not give a precise time of the air raid, but said it had begun on Tuesday morning.
The military source said that the Syrian government’s air force was in a state of siege.
“The Syrian air force has been forced to evacuate its aircraft, which are in a position of extreme vulnerability and in danger of being struck down by hostile aircraft,” the source told Reuters news agency.
The air raid came after the UK and US conducted joint air strikes in Syria in response to the chemical attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.
More than 2,000 British servicemen have been killed in the conflict, which began in March 2011 and has claimed the lives of more than 80,000 civilians.
More:Britain has been involved in a war against the Syrian regime since 2011, with thousands of servicemen killed, but this is the first time that the UK military has taken a direct part in such a large military operation.
The US has said that it has conducted strikes in support of Syrian government forces.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that the Assad government’s actions are likely to trigger a wider regional conflict.
“I have said that we need to have a serious debate about whether or not we should be in a situation where we have to engage militarily in a way that is necessary in order to achieve our strategic goals,” he said on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to be able to resolve the conflict diplomatically or peacefully.”