Australia to join multinational weapons drop into Iraq

Australia to join multinational weapons drop into Iraq
Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:14:32

Australia will drop military equipment and aid to Kurdish forces fighting the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in northern Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

Australia will join Canada, Italy, France, Britain and the United States in providing arms as part of a multinational effort to be coordinated by Iraq and other countries in the region, Abbott said on Sunday.

"The situation in Iraq represents a humanitarian catastrophe," Abbott said in a statement. He said Australia would continue to work with international partners to “address the security threat” posed by the terrorists.

The prime minister also warned earlier this month that Australia cannot let down its guard against homegrown terrorism or risk "truly sickening" acts of barbarity like those in Iraq playing out at home.

Abbot discussed a proposed raft of new counter-terrorism laws with internal groups as global outrage mounts over the beheading of American journalist James Foley in Iraq.

Around 60 Australians are fighting with ISIL - the terrorist outfit responsible for Foley's beheading - and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

About 100 more are involved in support networks for these terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq.

The United States and Australia have recently agreed to take concerns about the threat posed by foreign terrorists in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to the United Nations, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against ISIL terrorists who have seized a third each of Iraq and Syria, declared open war against the West and want to establish a hub of extremism in the heart of the Arab world.


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