Australia will deploy 300 troops to Iraq in a matter of weeks

Australian soldiers carry out a military exercise. Photo: Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will deploy 300 additional troops to Iraq as part of the next phase of Australia’s contribution to combating terrorist organisation Daesh.

“We anticipate we’ll be in a position to make a decision about the final deployment in a matter of weeks,” Abbott said.

In his address to media, Abbott said the training mission is expected to commence in May.

Abbott said the extra troops will complement the advise and assist mission which has been in place for some months now. He said that mission will wind down after September.

“We do not want to leave the Iraqis on their own,” the Prime Minister said.

The deployment is also in response to a formal request from the United States and forms part of the international coalition of about 60 countries.

Abbott said Australia will continue to operate in step with Iraqis, who believe it is there responsibility to recapture their country.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said: “This is a mission on which is usual, proportionate, and not open ended and will be reviewed from time to time.”

You can read the PM’s full statement here.