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article imageAustralia approves airstrikes, special forces deployment in Iraq

By Greta McClain     Oct 2, 2014 in World
Canberra - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced his country will join U.S. led coalition airstrikes against ISIL, as well as send special forces units to Iraq.
The announcement came after the Australian Cabinet agreed to authorize the airstrikes against ISIL “at the request of the Iraqi government.” During a recently completed news conference, Abbott said:
“ISIL has effectively declared war on the world. As a peaceful nation, Australia is often reluctant to reach out to conflicts half way around the globe – but sometimes these conflicts reach out to us."
Abbott also confirmed that the Royal Australian Air Force had already deployed aircraft to the area and were participating in support missions in Iraq. He called the missions humanitarian in nature, which were designed to "protect the the of Iraq and ultimately the people of Australia.”
According to The Australian, six Super Hornets, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, a KC-30 refueller and a special forces contingent have already been pre-deployed to a U.S. base in the United Arab Emirates. The special forces unit's mission will be to advise and assist Iraqi forces.
The decision to participate in airstrikes against ISIL targets within Iraq comes at a time when Australian authorities grow increasingly concerned about the number of Australian citizens joining ISIL. When asked if he was worried how Australian Muslims would react to the announcement, Abbott said:
"We are doing what we can to help the government and the people of Iraq to protect themselves against a murderous death cult, which in the words of so many senior Muslim against God, against Islam and against our common humanity. So there is no reason whatsoever why what the Australian Government has embarked upon from today should upset the vast majority of Muslims here in Australia."
More about Austalia, Airstrikes, Special forces, Isis, ISIL
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