PM Tony Abbott Says He Will Not Rule Out Sending Australian Troops Into Iraq

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says that although other countries have more magnitude to deploy military forces to aid in the Iraqi conflict, “Australia is not without capacity and we want to use the capacity we have for good.”

After speaking with British PM David Cameron and meeting with senior UK ministers and intelligence officials in London, Abbott said Australia will do what is necessary to prevent the “murderous hordes” of extremists from committing “potential genocide”.

The Australian PM agreed with US President Barack Obama’s comments that there was the potential for mass genocide in northern Iraq and hinted at the possibility of Australian military involvement.

“Well, we certainly don’t rule that out,” Abbott said in reference to sending troops to Iraq.

“This is a fundamentally humanitarian mission designed to protect innocent men, women and children from the murderous hordes that currently confront them.

“The United Kingdom and Australia, and the United States, are acutely conscious of the potential for genocide on Mount Sinjar and elsewhere in northern Iraq and we will do what we reasonably can to protect people.”

There is an international humanitarian mission in progress, delivering aid to refugees in Kurdistan, and Abbott says Australia will join the efforts by sending two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 transport planes to assist with airdrops.

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