Australia will stop conducting airstrikes against Daesh (IS) targets in Iraq and Syria.
Six Hornet fighter jets will be redeployed back to Australia, while refueling and surveillance aircraft will stay put at Iraq’s request.
Australia has been a part of an international coalition against Daesh, conducting airstrikes and other military assistance for more than two years.
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Iraq’s recent declaration of victory over IS led to the decision.
Ms Payne also said Iraq and other members of the coalition had been informed and consulted on the decision.
Australia has deployed about 780 military personnel as part of the United States-led coalition against the terrorist group.
“Given the success that has been achieved on the battlefield by the Iraqi security forces, Australia’s contribution is now at a transition point,” Payne said.
“Following discussions with Iraq and members of the international coalition, the Australian government has determined we will bring home our six Super Hornet strike aircraft from the Middle East,” she added.
The minister thanked the Australians who served in the campaign against Daesh, while also describing the campaign as long and brutal.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spoke at a press conference in Baghdad that Iraqi military had a complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Marise Payne from The Courier.