Defence & Security News - Australia
|Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:38 PM|
|Australia to join weapons drops to help Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS|
Australia will help deliver weapons to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq in an attempt to counter the threat posed by Islamic State militants, while participating in further humanitarian air drops.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott said the US government had requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multinational effort.
“Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task,” the prime minister said in a statement on Sunday.
“Australia’s contribution will continue to be coordinated with the government of Iraq and regional countries.”
The Labor opposition signalled its support for the decision, saying the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were the only effective barrier to Isis slaughtering civilian populations while advancing through northern Iraq.
Australia continued to assist with humanitarian airdrops, joining the US, France and the UK in another operation to deliver aid to the people of Amirli, according to a statement issued by the Pentagon on Sunday.
Intelligence agencies admitted about 60 Australians are involved in fighting in Iraq and Syria but Abbott said the government was not considering putting Australian combat troops on the iraqi ground.