Australia to deploy 200 special forces in Iraq

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia will soon deploy 200 special forces troops in Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi security forces a month after the Australians were sent to the Middle East, the foreign minister said Monday.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement from Baghdad that she had secured the necessary legal guarantees from the Iraqi government to go ahead with the deployment of the elite troops.

The Australian special forces arrived a month ago in the United Arab Emirates to participate in the multi-national coalition put together by the U.S. to battle the Islamic State group.

At the same time, Australia also sent six F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighters which are flying almost daily combat missions against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq.

Australia sent 2,000 troops to support U.S. and British forces in the 2003 Iraq War. But Australia has ruled out a ground combat role in the current conflict.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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