Australian Fighter Jets Conduct 1st Syria Operation against ISIL

Australian Fighter Jets Conduct 1st Syria Operation against ISIL
Sat Sep 12, 2015 14:38:17

Australian warplanes have conducted their first aerial operation in Syria after Canberra joined the so-called US-led coalition targeting purported ISIL positions in the conflict-wrecked country.

The operation was carried out on Saturday three days after the Australian government consented to Washington’s request to contribute to the coalition.

Two Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornets, an RAAF refueling plane, and an E-7A command aircraft were involved in the raid, during which no weapons were fired. "The Hornets were also prepared for any short-notice high-priority tasking which could include surveillance and weapons release," said Australia Air Task Group (ATG) Commander, Air Commodore Stu Bellingham.

"We cannot defeat ISIL in Iraq without defeating ISIL in Syria too," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has alleged.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011 with reports saying more than 240,000 people having been killed in the conflict.

The US and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria for more than three years.

The US-led coalition has been pounding purported ISIL targets inside Syria since last September without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations mandate.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad complained back in May that the coalition does not aim to “do away” with the terror group, saying, “They want to use this terrorist structure for threatening and blackmailing other countries.”

Earlier in September, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi slammed the so-called anti-ISIL coalition as “nothing but a huge lie,” saying that, “Facts prove that this alliance is a failure, and that it’s selective in choosing its targets.”

The ATG is also operating in Iraq, where Washington and some of its allies have likewise been reportedly carrying out air raids against what they say are ISIL positions since August 2014.

The combined operations, however, have so far failed to dislodge the group, which continues to carry out horrendous crimes against members of all communities in both countries.

string(2429) "[{"id":"1737979","sort":"3408770","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/12/alalam_635776574147837786_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US President Obama Warns Russia against Help to Syria"} ,{"id":"1737973","sort":"3408771","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/12/alalam_635776562355228643_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Assange: Syria’s Assad Overthrow Planned by US before 2011"} ,{"id":"1737695","sort":"3408772","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/11/alalam_635775675423782178_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US Intelligence Chief Revealed Country’s Secret Policy in Iraq and Syria"} ,{"id":"1737539","sort":"3408773","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/10/alalam_635775080681517362_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russian FM Lavrov: Russia to Prevent Libya Scenario in Syria"} ,{"id":"1737501","sort":"3408774","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/10/alalam_635775003043584016_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia Sends Firearms, Grenade Launchers to Syria to Counter ISIL"} ,{"id":"1737483","sort":"3408775","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/10/alalam_635774960820671865_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Kerry Warns Lavrov over ‘Russian Military Buildup’ in Syria"} ,{"id":"1737444","sort":"3408776","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/10/alalam_635774858995230654_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Hezbollah Purges Syria’s Zabadani City Fully from Terrorists"} ,{"id":"1737432","sort":"3408777","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/10/alalam_635774834550928529_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"No Place for Saudi Arabia, Qatar in Russia’s Plan on Syria"} ,{"id":"1737211","sort":"3408778","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/09/alalam_635774104048899085_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran Agrees to Open Airspace for Russian Aid Planes for Syria"} ,{"id":"1737141","sort":"3408779","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/09/alalam_635773982390143909_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iranian, Russian Deputy FMs Discuss Situation in Syria"} ,{"id":"1736903","sort":"3408780","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/08/alalam_635773233118890759_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran, Russia Continue Efforts for Political Solution in Syria and Yemen"} ,{"id":"1736828","sort":"3408781","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/08/alalam_635773074163136308_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Cameron Says UK Killing 3 ISIS Suspects in 1st Strike in Syria"} ,{"id":"1737138","sort":"3408782","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/09/alalam_635773978768371768_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Minister: Saudi Arabia Responsible for Syria Crisis"} ]"