Australia cancels airstrike fearing collateral damage

October 08, 2014 03:54 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:08 am IST - Sydney

Australian combat jets were pulled out of a potential strike on a moving Islamic State (IS) target in Iraq because of concerns that civilians could be killed, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

Defence chiefs revealed in a media briefing Wednesday, that the F-18 Super Hornet pilots stopped pursuing their IS target when it moved into a populated urban area.

“Jet fighters, which were providing air cover to Iraqi forces on the ground Sunday night, put the safety of civilians first,” Vice Admiral David Johnston, Chief of Joint Operations, said.

“One of our Super Hornet packages on the first night had an identified target, which it was tracking and that particular target moved into an urban area where the risks of conducting a strike on that target increased to a point where it exceeded our expectations of collateral damage, so they discontinued the attack at that point,” he said.

He said IS militants were “not moving as freely as they were” since the airstrikes began.

IS actions trigger international fury
Australian combat jets were pulled out of a potential strike on a moving Islamic State (IS) target in Iraq because of concerns that civilians could be killed, the defence ministry said. >Read here A video showing American journalist James Foley being beheaded was released on August 19, as a five-minute clip titled “A Message to America”. The group threatened to kill another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, if President Obama did not halt his air strikes in Iraq. >Read here Senior While House Counterterrorism official Lisa Monaco said the rescue attempt undertaken by the Obama government “earlier this summer” ultimately failed because the hostages were not present at the location. >Read here A video showing IS beheading U.S. reporter Steven Sotloff was released on September 2, exactly two weeks after they disseminated on the Internet a similar gruesome video depicting the killing of another American journalist, James Foley. >Read here Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would hold accountable those who murdered their citizens, “no matter how long it takes.” >Read here The US President emphasised that Washington will take the lead in a "broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat." >Read here

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