Australia Joins Coalition Striking Islamic State Targets in Iraq: Reports

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Australian Air Forces joined US-led international coalitions to begin airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, Sky News Australia reported Friday.

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Australian Air Forces joined US-led international coalitions to begin airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, Sky News Australia reported Friday.

The decision was made by Australia's federal government at a meeting of the National Security Committee Friday morning.

Canberra's step was expected as two weeks ago six F/A-18F Super Hornet Australian fighter jets were deployed to the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to that, the Cabinet approved Friday the placement of Australia's Special Forces units in Iraq to instruct the local military.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.

Earlier in September, US President Barack Obama unveiled his strategy against the IS which includes the establishment of an international coalition. Since then, Washington has carried out a number of airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly taken part in the most recent attacks.

On September 30, the United Kingdom conducted first airstrikes IS targets in Iraq.

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