Australia’s Royal Air Force conducted its first ever air strikes against ISIS in Syria on Monday it was reported later in the week. The strikes are a fundamental addition to the strong allied union of multiple states that seeks to free Syria from oppression by the terror group ISIS and the first known involvement of Australia in the coalition.
Australian Defense Minister Stephen Andrews said on Wednesday, “Two days ago, Australian Hornet fighter aircraft destroyed a Daesh armoured personnel carrier with a precision-guided missile.” Daesh is the derogatory local name for ISIS.
The airstrikes targeted one of the group’s armored personnel carrier hidden in a compound belonging to the terror network. Andrews said, “That information was reported back to the combined operations centre by our Wedgetail command and control aircraft, and upon receiving authorisation to proceed one of the Hornets employed a precision-guided weapon to destroy the target.”
The strikes were carried out by the land down under’s go-to strike fighters, their Boeing F/A- 18E Super Hornets.
The Defense minister further said that the operation was carried out from a specified height that safeguarded the safety of civilians. He said, “We work within very strict rules of engagement, and those rules of engagement are to ensure as far as possible that we don’t have unwanted civilian casualties.”
Initial reports indicate the Australian army may have conducted three airstrikes in eastern Syria: two against the personnel carrier in al Hasakah and another in an oil collection area in Dayr Az Zawr.
Another 15 air strikes were conducted in Iraq with the help of the Iraqi army.
Just one week ago, Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott said they would be joining hands with the U.S. led coalition in an air campaign against ISIS.
According to Australia’s assistant treasurer, the air campaign was an attempt by the country to be a team player. He said, “We’re obviously hoping to make Syria safer and to stop the persecution of millions of people there as Isis advances. We’re part of a broader coalition in Syria. This is part of Australia’s global responsibility that not only makes the world safer but also protects us here at home.”
In the same spirit, Australia has also pledged to accept 12,000 refugees from Syria.
Australia currently has 330 troops training in Iraq. It has, however, not specified whether it would adopt a boots on ground approach in Syria.
Australia’s addition to the coalition is a dramatic addition to a passage that has not changed in months. New blood would prove vital in combating the terror network that has ravaged one of the Middle East’s countries dry and sent thousands of refugees flooding into Europe.