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U.S. Army Apache strikes Islamic State for first time

U.S. forces employed an Apache helicopter Saturday against Islamic State targets in Iraq for the first time, according to CENTCOM.

By Fred Lambert
U.S. Army Apache strikes Islamic State for first time
Apache Longbow Helicopters line an airfield in Iraq on Jan. 7th, 2004. (UPI Photo/Suzanne M. Jenkins/Air Force) | License Photo

BAGHDAD, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- An Apache helicopter was used in air assaults against the Islamic State over the weekend, the first such strikes utilizing the Army's premier attack helicopter.

In a statement on its website, CENTCOM reported a series of bombings against IS targets in Iraq's Anbar province:

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Four strikes northeast of Fallujah struck two mortar teams, a large ISIL unit and two small ISIL units. One strike southeast of Hit destroyed two ISIL humvees. One strike northeast of Sinjar destroyed an ISIL Humvee.

To conduct these strikes, the U.S. employed attack, bomber, fighter and helicopter aircraft deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. All aircraft departed the strike areas safely.

A CENTCOM official told Defense News that the helicopter was a U.S. Army Apache.

CENTCOM stands for U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and portions of North Africa.

In July, the White House announced that along with an additional 300 troops, it was sending in drone aircraft and helicopters -- including Apaches -- to improve security around the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

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According to Pentagon officials, there are 1,200 U.S. troops currently deployed to Iraq.

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