Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a statement today announcing the the Australian Air Force will be deployed to Iraq to deliver arms and munitions to Kurdish fighters fighting the ISIS.
In the statement Abbott said “Following the successful international humanitarian relief effort air-dropping supplies to the thousands of people stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, the Royal Australian Air Force will now conduct further humanitarian missions.”
The decision to send RAAF C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircrafts to the war-torn country follows a request from the US Government to help transport military equipment as part of a multi-nation effort.
Other nations involved include Canada, Italy, France and the UK.
Describing the situation in Iraq as “a humanitarian catastrophe” Abbott said “Australia’s contribution will continue to be coordinated with the government of Iraq and regional countries.”
Earlier in the month Obama announced he was building an international campaign against the ISIS and hoped to recruit allies for potential joint military action.
In response Abbott said Australia will do what is necessary to prevent the “murderous hordes” of extremists from committing “potential genocide” but didn’t commit to the possibility that Australian troops would return to Iraq. However he did say the option certainly wasn’t being ‘ruled out’.
As fighting in Iraq and Syria has intensified in the past few months the Australian government has taken preventative action against Australians wanting to join the ISIS. At least five suspected jihadists ,who attempted to travel overseas, have detained.
Abbott’s statement did not include a deployment date.
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