Australia is sending another 300 troops to Iraq

Tony Abbott bids farewell to Australian forces heading to the Middle East. Photo: Getty Images

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says 330 more Australian troops will be headed to Iraq from tomorrow.

The numbers will be largely drawn from the Army’s 7th Brigade, based in Brisbane.

They will work as part of a combined Task Group alongside about 100 personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force.

The mission is non-combat in nature and the troops will help to train the Iraqi army.

This will be a two-year deployment, with a review to follow.

“The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect that the force will be deployed and operational by the middle of May,” Abbott said.

“This is about international security and national security.”

Abbott said Australia’s additional troop contribution is comparable to what a number of other countries are doing.

“The work against the Islamist death cult so far has been effective,” Abbott said but warned, “large swathes of Iraq remain in the control of the death cult.”

“I don’t want anyone to underestimate the significance of the coalition of which we are a part.”

The additional troop deployment comes at the request of both the Iraqi and US governments.

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