June 13, 2016 / 6:04 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. says Apache helicopter carries out strike in Iraq

Smoke rises from clashes with Islamic State militants in Falluja, Iraq, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States carried out a strike in Iraq on Monday against an Islamic State target using an Apache attack helicopter for the first time since President Barack Obama authorized its use in offensive operations earlier this year.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter declined to disclose details of the operation, saying only that it was to support Iraqi forces positioning ahead of an operation to retake the city of Mosul from insurgents.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two helicopters flew the mission but the strike was carried out by a single Apache firing at a vehicle on the ground.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish

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