18:30 GMT +317 November 2019
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    (File) Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets

    Australia's Defense Chief Declares End of Air Campaign Against Daesh

    © AP Photo / Australia Defense Department, Gregory Pierce, HO
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne on Friday declared an end to the nation’s airstrike operations in Syria and Iraq, although she admitted the challenge was not over yet, local media reported.

    The decision was taken, Payne said, after consultations with Iraq and the international coalition fighting the terror group Daesh, according to The Australian, a newspaper.

    READ MORE: Australia Determined to Eliminate Security Threat by Killing Daesh Militants

    "The Australian government has determined that we will bring home our six Super Hornet strike aircraft from the Middle East, marking the end of Australia’s air strike operations in Iraq and Syria," she told reporters.

    Payne said the broad battle was "most certainly" over, but Australia would not underestimate the efforts that Daesh might still make, she added.

    Australia's support aircraft, the E-7A Wedgetail surveillance plane and the refueling plane, will further provide assistance for the US-led Coalition operations and the Iraqi Security Forces.

    "They will continue to support the Iraqi Security Forces and counter-terrorism service in their work to ensure that Daesh is precluded from taking any further hold," Payne noted.

    The Australian Defense Minister's statement comes after the Iraqi Prime Minister announced earlier this month that the territory of Iraq had been freed from Islamists and declared that the fight is over.

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    Tags:
    aerial campaign, Daesh, Australia, Syria, Iraq
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