Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has made a commitment to deploy 600 Australian troops to the US-led war against the Islamic State. The Australian task force is set to be stationed in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) and will include Special Forces military advisors that will work with the Iraqi military and assault jets.
Australia has already committed C130 Hercules transport aircraft and a C17 to the multinational effort,, which includes the US, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Tony Abbott earlier agreed to join forces with the U.S. in humanitarian airdrops in northern Iraq, but is now deepening Australia’s involvement. The Australian Prime Minister has reinforced his commitment to protect the Middle East and the world by ‘contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening.’
“We’ve seen beheadings, crucifixions, we’ve seen mass executions, we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people driven from their homes, we’ve had women forced into sexual slavery, we’ve had the deaths of very young children, we’ve had tens of thousands of people besieged on Mount Sinjar. This is about taking prudent and proportionate action to protect our country and to protect the wider world against an unprecedented terrorist threat.’
He continued “I have to warn the Australian people that should this preparation and deployment extend into combat operations, this could go on for quite some time – months rather than weeks, perhaps many, many months indeed.”
The Prime Minister has stated that deployment is the next phase in Australia’s obligation in trying to stop the progress of Islamic State fighters. Last month, Australia joined in a multinational relief effort, dropping military equipment and aid to Kurdish forces fighting the group in northern Iraq.
Prime Minister Abbott declared that, “Australia is prepared to engage in international operations to disrupt and degrade ISIL because of the threat that this murderous death cult poses not just to the people of Iraq, not just to the people of the Middle East, but to the whole world, including to Australia.”
“The legalities of operating in Iraq with the consent and welcome of the Iraqi government are obviously very different from the legalities of operating in Syria, which has a government that Australia doesn’t recognise.”
While committing troops to fight the Islamic State, Prime Minister Abbott has made it clear that Australia are not at war with no clear indication of advancing troops in Syria. It was only five years ago that Australia completely withdrew troops from Iraq in July 2009 after deploying in 2003.
[Image via The Telegraph]