Australia Announces It was Sending Extra 300 Troops to Iraq

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Tuesday, 03 March 2015

Australia announced Tuesday it will send another 300 troops to Iraq in a joint mission with New Zealand to “help train local forces” fighting to reclaim territory seized by ISIL terrorist group.

The decision follows Wellington last week deciding to deploy some 140 soldiers in a non-combat role to boost the Iraqi military.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the decision followed a formal request from the Iraqi and US governments with the mission intended to span two years. "I want to stress that we haven't taken this decision lightly. Ultimately, it is Iraq that must defeat the death cult (Islamic State) but we do not want to leave the Iraqis on their own," he told reporters.

"We are naturally reluctant as a peace-loving people to reach out to far-away conflicts but, as we know, this conflict has been reaching out to us for months now."

The move came as some 30,000 Iraqi troops and fighters backed by aircraft pounded terrorists in and around Tikrit in the biggest offensive yet to retake one of the terrorist group's main strongholds in the country.

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