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Transcript - 23822

Australian Defence Force contribution to international coalition against ISIL

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/2014

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 23822

The Government is preparing to contribute to an international coalition to counter the ISIL terrorist threat.

The Australian Defence Force will prepare and deploy to the United Arab Emirates up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18 combat aircraft; an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft; and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft.

In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a Special Operations Task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the ISIL terrorists.

Australia will place Australian Defence Force personnel in the United States Headquarters to ensure close coordination with our alliance partner and to support planning and logistics.

We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening.

The Government’s decision responds to a formal request from the Government of the United States to contribute specific Australian Defence Force capabilities to the international coalition.

In recent days, I have discussed the situation with President Barack Obama, with Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zaiyed of the United Arab Emirates.

These leaders share the Government’s grave concern about the situation in Iraq and support Australian participation in an international coalition to disrupt and degrade ISIL’s ruthless advance.

The ISIL death cult threatens the people of Iraq, the region and the wider world.

The conflict has reached out to Australia, with at least 60 Australians fighting with ISIL and other terrorist groups and another 100 or so supporting these extremists.

This situation is as much a matter of domestic security as it is of international security.

It is right for Australia to do what it prudently and proportionately can to support international efforts to prevent the spread of ISIL, roll back its gains and alleviate suffering in Iraq.

Australia has already provided air-lift assistance to Iraq, including the movement of arms and munitions and two humanitarian aid drops to stranded people in Northern Iraq using a RAAF C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft.

I am encouraged by the strong support President Obama’s strategy has received, in particular from Iraq and many neighbouring countries, and the wider international community.

On 24 September, I will attend the United Nations Security Council to further discuss the international effort to counter ISIL.

14 September 2014

Transcript - 23822