Sunday, October 19, 2014

Australia/Iraq: Canberra to Participate with Coalition Forces to Combat IS Militants

According to AFP, Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop said Sunday (October 19) said that her government had reached a deal with Baghdad for the deployment of about 200 special forces to assist Iraqi troops in their fight against jihadists.
FM Bishop told reporters in Baghdad she had met top officials to hammer out a deal allowing Australian commandos who have been waiting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to deploy to Iraq.
"I have finalized an agreement for the legal framework to enable our special forces to be deployed here," she said as she wrapped up a two-day visit.
Bishop said the special forces' mission would be to "advise and assist the Iraqi government in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces."
COMMENT: The agreement came a day after the appointment of interior and defense ministers ended a security limbo that had been seen as an obstacle to coordination in the fight against IS militants. 
Australia was one of the first nations to join the United States' aerial campaign against the group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and is increasingly seen as a global threat.
During her trip, the Foreign Minister reiterated that Australian forces would be deployed in an advisory capacity and that Canberra had no plans to send ground troops to fight alongside Iraqi forces.

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