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article imageAustralia will help Iraq smash ISIL: Abbott

By Richard van der Draay     Jan 4, 2015 in Politics
Australia will step up its efforts to fight extremism in the Middle East, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott committing to “do everything we reasonably can” to help “knock off ISIL” during a surprise diplomatic mission to Baghdad.
During this first ever visit to Iraq, the Prime Minister met with his Iraqi counterpart, Haider Al-Abadi, and joined Australian armed forces members for a barbecue lunch also attended by Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and Defence Force chief Mark Binskin.
Tony Abbott, speaking alongside Dr Al-Abadi, highlighted the need to stop the Islamic State terrorist group’s “war against the world.” He also referenced last month’s bloody Martin Place siege tragedy as an example of the group encouraging terrorism beyond the Iraq/Syria region.
Abbott stressed that the government was “determined to deepen” its cooperation with the Iraqi government and added that the country had “suffered a very great deal” even prior to the emergence of ISIL.
“First, decades of tyranny under Saddam Hussein. Then, the chaos and confusion that followed the American-led invasion. Most recently, the tumult, the dark age, which has descended upon northern Iraq as a result of [this] death cult, but Australia will do what we can to help,” said Abbott.
“We haven’t just seen millions of people displaced, we haven’t just seen tens of thousands of people killed here in Iraq; we haven’t just seen the beheadings, the crucifixions, the mass executions and the sexual slavery here in Iraq, we have also seen exhortations from the death cult to people right around the world to engage in acts of terrorism, and even Australia has had its brush with terrorism in recent weeks," he added.
Prime Minister Abbott said Mr Abadi had "called on the Australian side to increase the arming and speed up the training and distribution of what is needed by the Iraqi forces to decide the battle and eliminate the [ISIL] organisation."
The Australian Prime Minister also announced Australia would offer another $5 million in humanitarian assistance to the World Food Program, to assist with feeding the 350,000 Iraqis displaced by the terrorist group’s attacks.
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