World / Asia-Pacific

Australia launches first air strike on IS

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-09 10:08

SYDNEY - An F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet has launched Australia's first attack against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, dropping two bombs on a militant facility, the Defence Department said on Thursday.

"Overnight (Wednesday night) the Australian Air Task Group operating in the Middle East attacked its first target in Iraq," the Defence said in a statement.

"Two bombs were dropped from an F/A-18F Super Hornet on to an IS facility. All aircraft exited the target area safely and returned to base."

It was the first time that Australian fighters have actually launched an attack, though this was the fourth combat mission flown by the Super Hornets.

As well as the bombing raids, Australia is also looking to deploy about 200 special forces to train and advise Iraqi forces.

The mission is the first time since July 2009 that the Australian Defense Force (ADF) has engaged in combat in Iraq.

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