REPORT: Australian troops set to be sent to Iraq for joint training mission

Photo: Paul Kane/ Getty.

Hundreds of Australian troops could be deployed to Iraq after New Zealand Prime Minister John Keys announced that Australian and Kiwi soliders would be sent to the Middle East for a joint training mission.

While Tony Abbott has yet to make an announcement about Australia’s involvement, the ABC is reporting that the commitment would involve hundreds of troops.

In the parliament yesterday, Keys said 143 New Zealand soliders would join a 62-nation joint taskforce to fight the IS at a military base in Taji, north of Baghdad.

The deployment would begin in May and last for at least nine months but could extend to two years, at a cost of $NZ65 million ($A62.71 million).

“This is likely to be a joint training mission with Australia, although it won’t be badged an ANZAC force,” he said.

If Abbott is to announce Australia’s involvement, he has two sitting days remaining before he flies to New Zealand to meet with Keys.

Additional Australian troops would add to the 200 special forces personnel already on the ground in Iraq.

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