US Apache helicopters strike Daesh for first time in Iraq: official

Published 13.06.2016 22:33

US Apache helicopters have hit a Daesh target for the first time in Iraq, the Pentagon said Monday.

"US Apache helicopters conducted the first strike against a Daesh target in Iraq in support of Iraqi Security Forces in the Tigris River Valley June 12," Defense Department spokesman Christopher Sherwood said.

"The Apache strike destroyed a Daesh vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) near Qayyarah, Iraq," he added. Qayyarah is south of Mosul, the Daesh's main stronghold in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter also confirmed the use of Apache helicopter in Iraq while speaking to reporters traveling with him to Brussels for a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

He said an Apache was used to strike a Daesh target in the last 24 hours or so. A U.S. defense official said that more than one Apache flew but only one of them fired and struck a vehicle early Monday morning.

The U.S. has had Apache helicopters in Iraq for some time. While in Iraq in April, Carter announced the U.S. was offering to use them in combat but any final decision on when would be up to the Iraqis.

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