Reuters International

An AH-64 Apache helicopter takes part in Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NATO's largest joint and combined military exercise in more than a decade, at the San Gregorio training grounds outside Zaragoza, Spain, November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

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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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