Australia to deploy 200 special forces in Iraq

AP News
Posted: Oct 19, 2014 5:07 PM

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.

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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.