ABC

Airstrikes against IS aborted over fear of civilian deaths

A Northern Territory-based Royal Australian Air Force pilot who took part in the first airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria says missions have been called off due to the risk of civilian casualties.

Australian fighter jets from the Northern Territory's Tindal air base carried out their first air strike on IS targets in Syria in September as part of Operation Okra, after the Government expanded a bombing campaign in Iraq following the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

A RAAF Group Captain from 75 Squadron, who can only be identified as 'Pete', has flown bombing missions against IS in Iraq and Syria.

He has rejected criticisms Australia's rules for engaging IS targets are too strict.

"We are not there to destroy Daesh at all costs ... and in particular to the cost of the Iraqi civilians," he told the ABC, using another name for IS.

Read more at ABC News Online


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