Australia's First Syria Air Mission Completed, No Weapons Deployed

12/09/2015 6:58 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets manufactured by Boeing Co. fly in formation during the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at Avalon Airport in Geelong, Australia, on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. The Avalon Airshow runs until March 1. Photographer: Mark Dadswell/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Royal Australian Air Force has undertaken its first mission over Syria, but fighter jets used no weapons and returned without incident.

RAAF Australian Air Task Group deployed four aircraft into eastern Syria overnight -- two F/A-18A Hornets, a refuelling aircraft and an early warning and control aircraft.

Though the Australian Air Task Group did not used weapons, it will continue to plan and conduct air strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria under coalition strike operations aimed at reducing the impact of Daesh forces.

Air Commodore Stu Bellingham said the Hornets searched for enemy activity in the region under the direction of the international coalition's Combined Air Operations Centre through the E-7A aircraft.

He said Daesh used this region of Syria -- which is rich in oil -- to engage offensives into Iraq.

"Daesh controls a large amount of territory in eastern Syria that serves as a source of recruitment and oil revenues, and as a base from which it continues to launch attacks into Iraq", Air Commodore Bellingham said.

"The Hornets were also prepared for any short notice high priority tasking which could include surveillance and weapons release."

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