US bombs Baghdad as PM says Australian troops have flown to Middle East

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
By Paul Martin

Jared Owens
September 16, 2014

IN an escalation of its military campaign in Iraq, the US has bombed the Islamic State near Baghdad, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed Australian forces began covertly deploying to the Middle East.

American warplanes carried out one air strike near Baghdad and another near Mount Sinjar, in the north of Iraq, in the past 24 hours, according to a US defence official.

The strikes, announced less than a week after US President Barack Obama ordered a “relentless” war against the Islamic State, including air strikes in Syria and expanded operations in Iraq to “destroy” the marauding jihadist army, came as international diplomats met in Paris to pledge support in the fight against IS.

“US military forces continued to attack ISIL (IS) terrorists in Iraq, employing attack and fighter aircraft to conduct two air strikes Sunday and Monday in support of Iraqi security forces near Sinjar and southwest of Baghdad,” US Central Command said in a statement.

“The air strike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offence, as outlined in the president’s speech last Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott, amid reports special forces personnel yesterday departed Sydney’s Richmond air base for the United Arab Emirates, confirmed “some personnel have left for the Middle East” and more would follow over the next five days.

The Rest…HERE

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