MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Australian Air Force has launched its first airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Iraq, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement early on Thursday.
“Overnight the Australian Air Task Group operating in the Middle East attacked its first target in Iraq. Two bombs were dropped from an F/A-18F Super Hornet on to an ISIL facility,” the ministry said.
It added that all warplanes had “exited the target area safely and returned to base.”
Australia is one of dozens of countries that have joined the US-led military coalition fighting the violent IS insurgency, which has spread across Syria and northern Iraq.
It was reported earlier that Australia had dispatched six Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets to Iraq to fight IS. It was also planning to send a group of military advisers to assist in the US-led military operation.
Over the past few months, the IS Sunni extremist group has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the areas it controls. Its rapid advance triggered a response from Washington, which launched airstrikes against the insurgents fighting on the Iraqi soil back in August.