Australia deploys special forces, joins air strikes in Iraq

October 3, 2014 8:11 am
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Iraqi Shiite fighters from Tal Afar take part in a parade in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala in Iraq on October 2, 2014, ahead of joining the fight against Islamic State jihadists/AFP
Iraqi Shiite fighters from Tal Afar take part in a parade in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala in Iraq on October 2, 2014, ahead of joining the fight against Islamic State jihadists/AFP

SYDNEY, October 3- Australia’s cabinet Friday authorised the deployment of special forces and military air strikes to tackle the Islamic State organisation in Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

“Today, cabinet has authorised Australian air strikes in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government and in support of the Iraqi government,” Abbott said. 

“Also, subject to final legal documentation, cabinet has authorised the deployment of Australian special forces into Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi forces.”

About 200 troops, including special forces soldiers, arrived in mid-September in the United Arab Emirates, a staging post for military operations into the region, as part of a 600-strong deployment as Australia geared up to join the US-led campaign.

They are backed by Australian air force aircraft, including F/A-18F Super Hornet jets, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and a KC-30A multi role tanker and transport aircraft.

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