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US requests Australia to expand its role in fight against Islamic State

Australian aerial role in fight against the Islamic State in Syria has been so far limited to refuelling and intelligence gathering

By: PTI | Melbourne |
August 21, 2015 8:40:01 am
islamic state, US air strikes, Australia air strikes, Australia Islamic State, Islamic State Syria, Islamic State Iraq, Islamic state. ISIS Islamic State fighters on a jeep passing through a crowded road

Australia has received a formal request from the US to expand its role in the fight against the dreaded Islamic State militant group in Syria.

The request was sent to the Australian embassy in Washington yesterday, the ABC reported.

Australian aerial role in Syria has been so far limited to refuelling and intelligence gathering but the expanded role could involve the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) conducting air strikes, the report said.

“Not divulging any details”, Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said.

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“I don’t believe any decision has been made by the government and obviously we would be briefing the opposition,” he said.

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“I understand a briefing has been organised for early next week about any developments that might occur there,” he added.

Treasurer Joe Hockey, who sits on Australia’s national security committee, said he would not pre-empt what was discussed but the request would be properly considered.

“Our enemies see no borders over in the Middle East. ISIS sees no borders, and we have an obligation to do whatever we can to stop the evil that they are perpetrating,” he said.

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First published on: 21-08-2015 at 08:40:01 am
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