Australia drops first bombs on Syria


Australian warplanes have carried out their first air strike against Islamic State targets inside Syria, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said Wednesday.

A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Super Hornet fired a missile and destroyed an armoured personnel carrier in eastern Syria, Andrews told the broadcaster ABC.

“Two of our Hornets identified the personnel carrier, which was hidden in a Daesh compound,” 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.”

Last week then-Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said Australian forces were joining coalition forces attacking IS forces in Syria.

The policy is likely to continue under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who was sworn in yesterday and spent much of the day being briefed by military and national security leaders.

Australia has six Hornet fighter-bombers targeting IS in Iraq and Syria as part of the US-led coalition.