Navy aircraft

US Navy F/A-18 jets dropped 500lb bombs on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) targets, near Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, on 8 August.

The F/A-18 Hornets, which belong to the navy’s Carrier Air Wing 8, are assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) carrier group in the Persian Gulf.

Pentagon press secretary rear admiral John Kirby said: "The decision to strike was made by the US Central Command commander under authorisation granted him by the commander in chief.

"As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIS when they threaten our personnel and facilities."

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Another round of air strikes against ISIS was launched on 10 August, this time involving drones and a fighter jet that dropped one laser-guided bomb to neutralise the ISIS mortar and convoy near Erbil.

"The decision to strike was made by the US Central Command commander under authorisation granted him by the commander in chief."

Kirby added: "The US military continued to attack ISIS targets near Erbil today, conducting two additional air strikes to help defend the city where US personnel are assisting the Government of Iraq."

The US mission in the country marks the deepest engagement since its troop withdrawal in late 2011.

The US Central Command has been authorised to carry out military operations for humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted air strikes in Iraq to shield US personnel and interests, in response to actions by ISIS terrorists.

In addition, the US military has been supplying food and water for thousands of Iraqi citizens.

Kirby added: "The United States military will continue to work with the Department of State, as well as international partners including the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, and non-government organisations, to assess the need for additional humanitarian operations in Iraq going forward."

Image: An F/A-18C Hornet aircraft being prepared for maritime security operations and theatre security cooperation efforts aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Photo: courtesy of mass communication specialist 3rd Class Margaret Keith.

Defence Technology