Iraq News

Australia to widen scope of targets in ISIL air war

Australia is to start targeting "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) support and logistics resources in Iraq and Syria, as it broadens the scope of its air war on the group, AFP reported Thursday (September 1st).

Australia has 780 defence personnel in the Middle East supporting its operation against ISIL.

Many are based in Iraq, with 400 attached to the Air Task Group flying six F/A-18 Hornets on bombing missions. Late last year, Australia also started carrying out air strikes against ISIL targets in Syria as part of a 60-nation coalition.

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, chief of the Australian Defence Force, said domestic laws needed to be updated to allow his pilots to attack support and logistics targets, as they were currently limited to "only target those ISIL forces that are taking a direct and active part in hostilities".

The legal changes would allow the defence force "to target ISIL at its core, joining with our coalition partners to target and kill a broader range of ISIL combatants, which is consistent with international law", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament in Canberra.

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