PM Tony Abbott Commits Australia Will Help Iraq Defeat Islamic State

By @vitthernandez on
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott During An Official Visit To Putrajaya, Malaysia
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks at a joint news conference with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak during an official visit in Putrajaya September 6, 2014. Reuters/Olivia Harris

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott heeded the call of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for Canberra to boost its military commitment to help defeat the Islamic State (IS) which is occupying large tracts of land, including Mosul, the country's second-largest city.

In agreeing to assist Iraq beat the IS, Mr Abbott cited the extremist group's threat to encourage domestic terrorist attacks and Australia being a friend of the Iraqi people.

YouTube/Storyful Editor

He committed to doing what is necessary to return control of Iraq to its citizens as Mr Abbott noted the great deal of sufferings that Iraqis went through caused by the IS, or the Da'ish death cult, which brought the Middle Eastern nation into the dark age.

Mr Abadi specifically asked Australi to increase armament and hurry up the training of Iraqi troops to end the war and eliminate the IS from the land.

In response, Mr Abbott said, quoted by The Australian, "Your war is the war of all the world ... Our planes are raiding, we have consultants and we are ready to meet the need of Iraqi forces to defeat Da'ish."

Canberra initially send food to Iraq in August, followed by weapons for Kurdish fighters in September and air strikes in October. Since August, the Coalition jet fighters - which includes Australia - have conducted over 1,600 strikes against IS targets, including 462 in December.

The PM disclosed that he initially scheduled a visit to the Australian troops during Christmas, but the Sydney Siege postponed his trip.

From Iraq, Mr Abbott flew on Monday night to the United Arab Emirates where he met with Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Like the talks in Iraq, fighting terrorism was also the focus of Mr Abbott's meeting with UAE officials. 

To contact the writer, email: v.hernandez@ibtimes.com.au